Twelve learners are now moving towards a career in health and social care, thanks to an ESF - funded course provided by the West Cheshire College (WCC) and partners.
The twelve students were drawn from Ellesmere Port, Neston and Chester, and have now successfully finished the course in question at the college. The learners who take the course spend four days each week in the College over a six week period. In this time they study a range of topics such as customer care, health and safety, first aid, moving & handling, food hygiene, computing, data protection, literacy and numeracy.
The thirty two week course is entitled the Intermediate Labour Market Programme, and it is run in partnership with Ellesmere Port & Neston PCT, Cheshire West PCT, Job Centre Plus and Connexions (the Government's career advice service to young people). The programme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), which aims to help unemployed people enter work and promote lifelong learning.
Now that the course is over, the next stage in development begins. The group of twelve learners will now start work placements across health and social care sector, funded by the project and the employer. The aim of this placement is to give participants some vital real life experience to prepare them for their future careers. Beyond the placement, it is hoped that they will gain permanent employment within the sector.
CoVE Praises Fantastic Learners for Filling Skills Gaps
A member of the staff from the Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE), Bev Aiston, praised the learners, saying: "This is the second group to complete this programme and they have been fantastic. Now they are more employable and work ready.
She also commented on the need to develop the skills of the workforce in the National Health Service (NHS). "We already have a skills shortage across the board in the health and social care sector and it's a fact that by 2010 one in four people will work in the NHS, but there aren"t enough skilled people for the positions," she said. "By training unemployed people with the skills needed we are not only helping them find employment, but also helping to fill the skills gaps in the sector."
The certificates were presented by the College Principal Sara Mogel, who said: "The NHS is our biggest employer and offers many opportunities for its employees. I wish everyone who has completed this course the best of luck for the future and I hope they enjoy their careers in the industry."
After the Foster Review of Further Education called last week for the sector to focus on improving the skills needed by employers, WCC seem to be ahead of the field.
Welcome West Cheshire filling the NHS skills gap in the FE Blog"