Overwhelming response to COVID-19 transitional skills programme from hospitality & tourism workers keen to redeploy into care sector

Image: Overwhelming response to COVID-19 transitional skills programme

By Jane Rexworthy | 29 April 2020

An innovative skills transition programme was launched at the beginning of April 2020, offering hospitality and tourism workers, displaced as a result of Covid-19, the opportunity to gain the critical skills needed to secure employment within the care sector, helping to meet the increased staffing demand and support our society’s most vulnerable.

Developed as part of a collaboration between Skills for Health, People 1st International and CareTech, the programme pilot for 500 staff has received an overwhelming response from more than 11,000 willing hospitality workers, with sought after transferable skills, to retrain, preparing them to work safely in a new role and a new sector.

John Rogers, Chief Executive, Skills for Health comments: “In these unprecedented times, it’s vital that the UK’s workforce can flex and adapt to meet the critical needs of our people. Now has never been a better time to upskill the hospitality and tourism workforce to support the NHS and wider health and care sectors during these challenging times and the response we’ve seen is humbling.”

CareTech, a national social care provider, is recruiting for roles in their care homes to support the care and education of some of the most vulnerable adults and children across England, Scotland and Wales.

Nasir Quraishi, Group HRD Director, CareTech comments: “Social care is rewarding in many ways. It provides both stable employment and career enhancement for the right candidates. CareTech is reaching out to individuals who share the same values and behaviours that are required to provide person centred care for the people that we support and invite them to come and be part of a great team.”

Successful candidates will undertake accredited online learning from Skills for Health, giving them the introductory knowledge to provide compassionate and high quality care and support. They will then continue this learning journey through CareTech’s best in class training programmes – a combination of on-the-job training and elearning – for a period of twelve weeks resulting in them achieving the industry recognised ‘Care Certificate’ qualification.

“The Care Certificate offers individuals an in-depth introduction to the role, helping to upskill them and support their transition into the sector.” Added John Rogers.

To promote these opportunities to hospitality workers, with the transferable skills that Caretech are looking for, the partnership has teamed up with TotalJobs Group to profile the 500 roles through the hospitality jobs site Caterer.com.

Neil Pattison, Director, Caterer.com says: “Caterer.com partnered with TotalJobs to create the Hospitality Redeployment Hub – a free to use service to help the estimated 500,000 hospitality workers displaced by the Covid-19 crisis to find work in other sectors at this critical time.

“Hospitality workers have a huge range of skills that are highly transferable to other sectors such as care and we’re pleased to be collaborating with Skills for Health, CareTech and People 1st International on their excellent initiative to help smooth the way for candidates to enter the care sector as swiftly as possible.”

Shortlisted applicants will undertake the online learning during the 14-day self-isolation period recommended before entering a care home, after which they will be invited to a final interview before commencing employment.

Sandra Kelly, UK Director for People 1st International, who has facilitated the collaboration, uniting the sectors and working with its sister organisation Skills for Health to put together a robust skills package, comments: “In what is a very challenging time for employers and individuals, it’s been heartening to work in partnership with CareTech and Skills for Health to unify our sectors and create valuable employment and progression opportunities for skilled individuals.

“Collaboration is critical at this time and we’re delighted to utilise our expertise to connect employers and help individuals affected by the crisis to continue to use their transferable skills and take advantage of new opportunities.”

The outpouring of support for our health and care workforces since the outbreak of coronavirus has been extraordinary. The collaborative, cross-sector efforts occurring through the mobilisation of creative partnerships between a wide range of private and public sector employers, like this one, is helping relieve the immense pressure and unprecedented demands on staff faced with the greatest challenges. The sheer pace and scale of transformation has been breath-taking, allowing for a rapid response and setting out a sustainable model for far reaching change, which otherwise could never have been achieved.

For more information about this initiative, the Care Certificate, or support with any of your workforce development challenges, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Jane Rexworthy


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