A life-changing Kirklees Council scheme has scooped a national award after supporting hundreds of people into a career in social care – making sure vulnerable people get the support they need.
The In2Care Kirklees initiative, established in 2017, aims to attract more people to work in social care and won a Guardian Public Sector Award in the Recruitment and HR category at a ceremony on 26 November, 2019.
With an ageing population, there is an ever growing need for social care. The Kirklees care sector has a workforce of approximately 12,800 but, according to research, care jobs could rise by 25-45 per cent by 2030. This would require an additional 5,700 workers.
Historically, care providers struggle to recruit, causing major issues on their ability to provide services. This leads to a high volume of people waiting for services and delays in hospital discharges. Many potentially excellent care workers are taking up careers in other industries.
Determined to change this, and to make sure people in Kirklees receive the care they need, the council’s Adult Services team started to look at how they could increase the borough’s social care workforce.
In2Care Kirklees provides a local personal matching service between applicants and employers. The team pull together the applicant’s skills and personal requirements and circulate their details to potential employers. This removes the barriers of traditional application processes and means people aren’t applying for roles which are not right for them.
They also work alongside local employment schemes to help people requiring additional support. This includes supporting harder to reach groups and giving them opportunities to receive training, job shadowing and support to find employment.
In2Care has also engaged with Kirklees care employers to establish a ‘one stop shop’ advertisement space on Facebook for current job opportunities.
The team also builds relationships with care providers to challenge poor practice, identify missed opportunities and inspire change.
Since 2017 the scheme has already had a huge impact and has supported over 530 local people into local social care jobs – including 190 in domiciliary care, 178 in residential care and 67 personal assistants. 43 per cent of applicants appointed were previously not in work and 39 per cent were new to the industry.
Richard Parry, Strategic Director for Adults and Health at Kirklees Council, said: “We’re delighted that this fantastic scheme and our hardworking staff have been recognised for making such a positive difference to people’s lives.
“With an ageing population, the demand to deliver the care that vulnerable people need and deserve is constantly growing and it can be a challenge to recruit the staff needed.
“The country as a whole needs more people working in social care and this sometimes means vulnerable people waiting for the care they need and this cannot continue to be the case.
“In2Care makes these crucial jobs more flexible so everyone has an equal opportunity to apply and makes sure we’re not missing out on potentially excellent carers.
“We’re delighted to have won the award and will continue to work hard to deliver the care and support that our most vulnerable deserve.”