Skills for Care funded a local project that supported 17-24 year olds from a range of backgrounds to do a work-based social care placement. The project wanted to break down some of the barriers to employment that people can face, and support local employers to find potential talent in new places.
Some people face barriers to moving into work and not everyone has recent experience or qualifications to support them. However people from all kinds of backgrounds can have the right values to work in social care.
The project is run by Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCa), who worked with local Jobcentres, schools and colleges to support suitable candidates through their 12 week ‘Inspire 2 Influence’ programme.
It starts with an induction that covers the knowledge elements of the Care Certificate, as well as support to develop other skills such as resilience. Candidates then do a 12 week work placement with a social care provider to get experience in a care setting.
This has proved to be successful in changing some of the negative stereotypes many young people have about working in care. One of the students said: “I thought I’d hate it but they showed me the different aspects of the work and I’ve really enjoyed taking clients out shopping or to the library, or feeding the birds.”
It’s also supported employers in the area to find new talent. Jean Bamber, a manager who supported a work placement, said: “[the student] is young but has a really good head on her. When residents come to us we are often told by the family ‘mum can’t do that’. But young people see our residents as individuals and have the attitude, ‘let’s see what you can do’.”
Taking an open approach to your recruitment can help you recruit from a wider talent pool and attract a diverse range of candidates for your roles. Removing barriers to employment and recruiting people for their values is a great place to start.
Toni Barwell, workforce development coordinator for LinCA, explained candidates didn’t have to be Grade A students. She said: “Working alongside students on the Inspire 2 Influence programme has allowed me to witness the full potential that these young people hold, which they are unlocking as their confidence grows. These students could soon be employed as care or support assistants who will continue to develop into roles like team leaders.”
Skills for Care has practical tips and ideas to help. Visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/seeingpotential.