Mercury care campaign: Partnership with Weston College helps to recruit more carers

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:25 12 September 2017

Could You Care campaign.

Could You Care campaign.


A successful North Somerset project has recruited 100 people to the caring profession - and its partnership with the job centre and Weston College has proved 'crucial' to its success.

The Mercury's care campaign looks this week at the care academy.The Mercury's care campaign looks this week at the care academy.

Alliance Homes, which is the organisation responsible for care support and provisions in North Somerset, teamed up with the college to provide a three-week programme designed to get people back into work and give them the chance to become carers.

The care academy was launched three years ago and was created when the organisation realised it was becoming difficult to recruit paid carers.

As a part of the course, there are English and maths lessons, as well as a chance to learn more about the caring profession by shadowing someone already in the role.

They become mentors and Niki Taylor, who is the registered manager at Alliance Homes, told the Mercury the partnership with the college has really helped it progress.

MORE: Read all about the Mercury’s care campaign here.

She said: “The college has been great and it really gives these people a purpose.

“The great thing about this scheme is that everyone is guaranteed an interview.

“It may not be a career for everyone, but with 100 people taking on the role since, we think it has been a big success.”

The courses have been run in Weston and due to their success, there are now plans to introduce some in Bristol.

Ms Taylor added: “We still have some more courses to run this year and then looking to move to Bristol. There are lots of things which paid carers do.

MORE: Shortage of carers in North Somerset, but demand is expected to rise.

“I think people often think it is just for the elderly, but it is also for the disabled and some young people who need support.

“These things can range from physical help, to helping people who are lonely.

“We think the shadowing and mentoring part of what we do is extremely important.

“We would not want to throw anyone in at the deep end and we think it is really important that people see what it is like for themselves.

“We have seen some fantastic results and we want people to know it is open to anyone.

“The course helps these people get into a routine, which is really important as going back into a job can be really daunting.”

The whole course from start to finish takes around eight weeks to complete.

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