LEP funding helps raise profile of career opportunities in adult social care

Published: 22/05/2019

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has invested £75,000 of its Growing Places Fund into a dedicated programme for the care sector.  Berkshire Cares aims to help raise the profile and ambition of the workforce in a drive to recruit the right people to the sector.

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has invested £75,000 of its Growing Places Fund into a dedicated programme for the care sector.  Berkshire Cares aims to help raise the profile and ambition of the workforce in a drive to recruit the right people to the sector.

The programme, which focuses on the positive role of care workers, is designed to support care providers across Berkshire as they often experience difficulties in recruiting. This can in turn affect the availability of care to people who could be living independently at home, or in care homes.

Campbell Christie CBE, Chair of the Skills, Education & Employment Programme Group and director of the LEP Executive Board says, “This is a challenge we wanted to address by making people aware of how rewarding and worthwhile care work is as a career choice, and encourage the positive image that care deserves. Skills for Care is delivering the programme and has achieved so much, from well attended workshops to publishing informative toolkits and guidance for employers.”

Rachel Reid, Locality Manager for Berkshire for Skills for Care and Manager of the Berkshire Cares project said, “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with the LEP to promote the programme and help to progress careers in adult social care. Berkshire employers can provide all kinds of flexible work and it is such a rewarding job.”

Berkshire Cares also boasts 30 I Care…Ambassadors who inspire and motivate people to understand more about working in adult social care. These Ambassadors help people to make informed decisions about their careers by visiting schools, colleges, job fairs and Jobcentres, and run a range of careers activities, such as presentations and mentoring.

Bluebird Care in Newbury has recently attended a workshop and said, “We received fantastic advice and support from Berkshire Cares and found turning the myth busting information it provided into a rolling video for our Facebook page perfect for our followers.  We have used a lot of the material for our recruitment process and with potential candidates; it has proved very useful. We also participated in two speed recruitment sessions at Reading Job Centre. It was a good turnout and it’s always positive to make people aware of the careers available at Bluebird Cares.”

Berkshire Cares is in its final phase in developing work experience opportunities. If businesses are interested in providing a placement, contact Rachel Reid at rachel.reid@skillsforcare.org.uk

Employers can also sign up and nominate their staff to become I Care Ambassadors. This will not only help businesses recruit new staff to the sector, but retain existing workers. Contact joy.baker@bracknell.ac.uk for more information.