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New £3.45m programme to boost skills of care and health workers

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Proud to Care Devon has successfully secured £3.45million of European funding to help Devon’s health and care workers develop new skills and to encourage others to join the profession.

The money was awarded by the European Social Fund, and follows a successful bid by Devon County Council in a partnership with Torbay Council, Plymouth City Council, Devon’s NHS trusts and education and training providers.

The funding will be used to develop an ‘accelerator’ programme, which will assist care and health workers with their training and development and to remove some of the barriers preventing those who wish to enter the sector from joining.

Over three years, the programme will look to support over 1,200 people with courses, education and training programmes, from entry level through to foundation degree. This will enable health and care staff to access higher level jobs in areas such as social work or nursing.

The programme will also support older applicants, those with a disability, applicants from minority backgrounds, those not in education, employment or training and those in single adult households with dependent children to enter the profession.

Support could include help with English and Maths and assistance learning costs or accessibility. A mentoring and coaching service will also be introduced, which will provide individuals with personalised support as they learn.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care said: “Since the pandemic started in March social care and health care staff have been working around the clock to protect and support the most vulnerable in our county.
“Now we are launching the accelerator programme giving those workers an opportunity to learn new skills, and access higher level jobs.
“We understand people’s personal circumstances are different – some may have disability, have no qualifications, be an older applicant or have childcare responsibilities. Many applicants may think these are barriers to entering the profession. We can help.
“What’s important are an applicant’s values and attitude towards working with people and patients who need care. This programme will help us to help you enter the care and health profession.”

Philippa Slinger, lead chief executive for the Devon health and care system, said: “We welcome everyone, no matter what their personal circumstances are, into careers in health and social care. The funding for this programme will help smooth the way for people who need a helping hand to a take up a rewarding role in a sector where you can truly make a difference to other people’s lives.”

Councillor Jackie Stockman, Torbay Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care said: “This funding is a real boost to those that are already working so hard and giving so much to those that need support and care. I hope that seeing what those in this sector have achieved over the past six months gives real encouragement to many others to join us in the rewarding roles that health and care offers.”

Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet member for Health and Adult social care, Councillor Kate Taylor said: “This is a fantastic initiative to encourage people to forge careers within the health and social care sector. It won’t come as any shock that our workforce is under increasing pressures, but by offering a no barrier entry into an extremely rewarding career, provides an exceptional opportunity for potential candidates.”

To find the latest jobs in the health and care sector in Devon please go to the Proud to Care website by clicking HERE.