Twelve young people are being given an insight into a career in care as part of a new initiative by The Prince’s Trust and leading care provider Balhousie Care Group.
The group of 18 to 25-year-olds have signed up to Get Into Care, a six-week course that includes an introduction into all aspects of care with accredited learning, as well as work placements at several of Balhousie’s 24 care homes across Scotland.
As well as learning about the Care Standards, looking after residents and their personal needs, the students will also be taught how to write an effective CV, present themselves at an interview and other life skills.
Balhousie Care Group has financially supported the scheme and also guaranteed each of the 12 students – who are from Dundee, Blairgowrie and Perth – an interview for a care assistant’s position when the course finishes in June.
The project is the latest in the Get Into… courses run by The Prince’s Trust, which offers practical and financial support to needy young people and helps them to develop key skills, confidence and motivation that enable them to move into work, education or training.
Other similar courses have included Get Into Retail, Cooking and Cars.
Tricia Stewart, Director of HR at Balhousie Care Group, said: “We are delighted to have launched Get Into Care with The Prince’s Trust, which will offer the 12 young people a real insight into care as a career as well as giving them the opportunity to experience work as a carer in some of our homes.
“We strongly believe working in the care sector is a vocation rather than simply a job and we want to offer local young people the opportunity to see if care is for them.
“Most of the students came to The Prince’s Trust through the Job Centre. As well as attending two taster sessions to determine their suitability before the course started, they also had the chance to meet some of our residents to chat to them about care from the resident’s perspective.
“We have guaranteed each of them an interview for a permanent post at the end of the six weeks and we hope those who decide care is for them and who meet the standards required of our employees will go on to become fully fledged members of our team.”
The Prince’s Trust students will be based at Balhousie Care Group’s headquarters in Perth before being deployed to homes including Luncarty, North Inch/North Grove in Perth, Antiquary and Monkbarns in Arbroath, Moyness in Broughty Ferry and Auchterarder.
The partnership stemmed from a meeting between Balhousie Care Group’s chairman, entrepreneur Tony Banks, and The Prince’s Trust.
The students are due to graduate on June 1.
Heather Gray, Director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland added: “Get into Care is set to be another successful programme, providing young people with a real taster of a career within the industry.
“To be working with the Balhousie Care Group makes this a very exciting time for The Prince’s Trust. I know that by working in partnership and combining our expertise we will be providing Perth and Tayside’s young people with an incredible training and development opportunity, leading to sustainable employment for the future.”
Funding from The Wood Family Trust has enabled The Prince’s Trust to establish this programme in Perth, helping to reach some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged young people.
Balhousie Care Group now cares for more than 860 residents in 24 homes across Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee and Perthshire. New homes have opened in Coupar Angus and Dundee, with major extensions built at Auchterarder and Rumbling Bridge and a replacement for Monkbarns in Arbroath. A further two homes are currently being built at Huntly and St Ronan’s, Dundee, taking the total capacity to around 1,100 residents.