A Scottish care provider has launched a scheme giving care-experienced young people and armed forces veterans the opportunity to work in the care sector.
LOVE@care, part of Hamilton-based social business the LOVE group, has launched its Vocational Care Pathway, giving care experienced young people and veterans across Scotland the chance to work in the care sector.
This scheme explores a way to tackle the high demand for care workers in Scotland whilst supporting young people who either in or leaving care into employment.
With people living longer, and an expansion in early learning and childcare, the firm says there is a higher demand for people to work in care in order to tackle the sector’s current understaffing crisis.
Currently, the number of vacancies in the care sector is growing, with the latest data from the Care Inspectorate indicating that 38 percent of services reported having vacancies, up 2 percent on the previous year. In addition, 45 percent of services with vacancies reporting problems filling them.
LOVE Group says this problem is set to be exacerbated by Brexit, which could lead to lower levels of immigration to Scotland. EU nationals account for 5.6 percent of staff in the care sector currently, with 42 percent of care services recruitment overseas coming from the EU.
The scheme is also designed to bring benefit to those who are care experienced. Nine months after leaving school, 31 percent of care experienced young people who were in care for part of the year are not in a positive destination such as further/higher education, employment or training, compared to 7 percent of their non-care experienced peers, according to LOVE Group.
When it comes to veterans, in a study more than 26 percent of veterans living in Scotland said they had found the process of finding the right job very difficult.
Through the Vocational Care Pathway, participants will enter an SQA accredited education programme and then begin a Modern Apprenticeship which will evolve into guaranteed employment within LOVE@care and affiliate organisations, with opportunities for promotion and career growth.
Since LOVE is a social business, the programme is funded by existing contracts and other corporate services the company offers, translating into no cost for young people looking to get involved.
Lynn Bell, CEO of the LOVE group, said: “We are operating in a sector with a major disparity between number of care workers and the demand for those services. At the same time, we provide support to care experienced young people and veterans through other programmes we organise.
“Marrying up care experienced young adults and veterans with employment opportunities within the care sector therefore just seemed a natural thing to do and is a ‘win-win’ for both parties.
“With the Vocational Care Pathway we provide education and training, allowing these individuals to gain the qualifications to move through the ranks of the care sector and help establish this as their career of choice.”