Supporting Employability Skills in the Care Sector - Cornerstone Community Care

BY David Doig Foundation

A grant from the David Doig Foundation helped deliver a five week ‘employability in the care sector’ training programme for 12 disadvantaged young people from Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Additional personal skills of time management, team work and other essential workplace competencies were also taught. The participants were also supported into further training education or apprenticeship opportunities.

Sarah was 18 years old, had left school with no qualifications, and had a chaotic lifestyle.  Sarah found out about Cornerstone’s enhanced programme through an advert on social media and applied through the Princes Trust. The programme consisted of two weeks classroom learning and a two weeks work placement, where she gained experience of caring for individuals and families. Sarah enjoyed the training and care giving elements of the course so much so that she opted to complete an enhanced training programme:  ‘Certificate of Work Readiness’ run by Skills Development Scotland.

She then completed the ‘Get into Care’ training programme offered by The Princes Trust. On completion of the programme Sarah was offered a relief post as Support Worker, she quickly became an integral part of the team and a further two months later she secured a 30 hour contract with Cornerstone.  Sarah is now taking further training in self-management and is in the process of saving up to buy her own property.

Update 2021

A further grant was awarded to support the ‘Get into Care’ programme through their training academy, run in partnership with the Princes’ Trust, helping young people find work in this important sector. Due to COVID-19 they were only able to deliver four of the six programmes scheduled, but still reached a total of 48 unemployed young people aged 18-25 in Ayrshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and Dundee. The programme consisted of classroom instruction in First Aid, Moving and Assisting, and Learning Disabilities, and also included interview techniques and practice. The young people on the course also assisted in Cornerstone’s services giving care to their beneficiaries, and were also encouraged to enhance the experience of those being cared for by engaging in arts/craft and music sessions.

Despite the emergence of COVID-19 reducing the amount of courses delivered, they saw a success rate of 67.5%, an increase on the previous year. Cornerstone are looking to continue to develop and deliver this course, building on this success for the future.

The course helped to improve the confidence and employability of those involved, as well as being an enjoyable expereince as the following three case studies show:

“Training with Cornerstone’s Get into Care program run in partnership with the Princes’ Trust is an experience I will never forget...Having never done any sort of care work before I was eager to learn as much as I could and the training which was provided set me up with all the skills, information and confidence I would need to get into that line of work. I also received certificates for each of the different courses. By the end of the 5 weeks I felt my life had changed for the better and couldn’t wait to begin this new chapter of my life. Having met loads of new people and made new friends, I was also set with everything I needed to start the job with Cornerstone, which I had also gained from taking part. I have been working with Cornerstone for many months now and I feel it was the best decision I have ever made.”

“I have always struggled with confidence issues through life and at times this has hindered me from being the best person/employee I can be. Feeling at a loss, the Get into Care programme welcomed me on baord, where I was given the opportunity to get invaluable training in not just social care and various care skills but also teamwork and confidence building...Having being fortunate enough to gain employment since completing the programme, I feel I have been well equipped to deal with work life and have also gained a job that I am incredibly passionate about”

“Before I started the course I was low on confidence and didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. The course was great and taught me so much and now I'm in full time employment as a community support worker. I can't thank the course tutors enough, they taught us so much and I'll be forever grateful. Through the course I met some great people and I feel I've found the job I always wanted to do, helping people less fortunate than I”

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