Immediately after a four-week training course eleven long-term unemployed people have been offered jobs in the care industry.
The success of the scheme has thrilled organisers, who say that some of the attendees had never held a job since leaving school several years ago.
The course, run at the Inspire centre in High Wycombe by Amersham & Wycombe College, was set up by Buckinghamshire County Council and the Department of Work and Pensions. It was run in partnership with the Connexions advice service and Amersham & Wycombe College, along with the care companies The Fremantle Trust, Heritage Care, and Home Instead.
Martin Phillips, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: ‘This was the third such course we have organised and is the most successful to date. We are absolutely delighted with the fact it has helped so many people find work – and it has also helped fill vital posts, mainly looking after vulnerable people within care homes.‘
The course, offering training in health and social care as well as basic work skills and one-to-one mentoring by a Connexions advisor, was attended by 15 people who applied through their Job Centres. It was backed by three care companies Heritage Care, The Freemantle Trust and Home Instead. All of the firms guaranteed candidates an interview at the end of the training and kept their promise when the course finished on Friday 15th July 2016.
The County Council, through its Community Wellbeing team, currently pays £22.5k per year to support the courses.
Cllr Phillips added: ‘It is highly satisfying to know that as a Council we are actually fulfilling such a vital function by supporting members of our community to end the frustrating search for meaningful jobs. It is my hope we carry on doing this because it’s a win-win for both the unemployed and for the employers that find them the jobs.‘
Due to the successful collaboration of DWP, the Community Wellbeing Team, and Aylesbury College, the first of its kind construction academy will commence this summer. There will be information days on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th August 2016. Anyone who is unemployed is eligible to apply. To find out more speak to your work coach at Jobcentre Plus.