A care worker from Houston is urging people in the area to consider a career in care.

Kate Houston, from Houston, works for specialist child and youth care charity Kibble. In a bid to combat the challenges faced by the care sector around recruitment and retention, Kibble has announced a package of financial and training support to people actively seeking a career in care.

Kibble, which provides specialist services for young people aged from 5 to 26 facing adversity or who have experienced trauma, is aiming to recruit and train a record number of 40 new Child and Youth Care Workers (CYCW) this autumn as part of its Career Start training programme. The initiative is nominated for Best Apprenticeship Programme in the Investors in People awards that will be announced in November.

All recruits at Kibble are provided with extensive support, including training and mentoring from an experienced in-house team for one year, while earning a salary.

Kate embarked on the Career Start programme in 2022 after a 15-year career as a dental nurse.

Kate said: “It was such a leap of faith for me to leave a career that I had worked hard to build up over a fifteen-year period – it was all I had ever known and I really enjoyed being a dental nurse but I just got to a point where I wanted more from my job. I wanted to feel like I was having a real impact, making a real difference to someone’s life.

“As a mum myself, I am passionate about the welfare and opportunities available for young people and when I saw Kibble was recruiting for Child and Youth Care Workers (CYCW) I had to take the chance to find out more. It was a necessity to find a role that also offered a salary so to find this entry level position, with salary, and opportunity to gain a national qualification – I couldn’t really see any downsides to it.

“I knew I had a range of transferrable skills from my time as a dental nurse and also being a mum. I was thrilled to see the recruitment process focused on the attitude you would bring to the role as Kibble ensures you receive the required training and qualifications.”

Those who complete the 12-month training will be guaranteed an interview for a role with a salary over £27k per year and have further career development opportunities.

Candidates who join and complete the course will achieve a HNC in Social Services with the chance to go on to become a Child and Youth Care Worker (CYCW) at Kibble.

The apprenticeship-inspired training programme launched as part of a wider recruitment campaign aimed at highlighting the opportunities, diversity and development on offer with a career in care at the charity.

Previous recruits to the programme include engineers, stay-at-home parents and former retail workers.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of Kibble said: “Through Career Start, we are looking to recruit people with life experience to provide ongoing support for our young people.

“This recruitment drive has been designed to address the ongoing recruitment challenges faced by the health and social care sector across Scotland by providing a change of career package of on-the-job training, salaried employment and nationally recognised qualifications.”

Kibble provides child and youth care services including residential childcare, education, fostering, psychological support and young workforce development services.

In the past year, 26 trainees qualified and secured a full-time CYCW role with Kibble. The charity also welcomed 20 new trainees who began in January 2023, all of whom are on-track to qualify within the next 12 months. Kibble is hoping to encourage people to consider a career in child and youth care, providing support for young people who have faced trauma within their lives.

The organisation is proud to base its recruitment strategy on values and ethics meaning a career at Kibble can be accessible to any candidate with a positive and compassionate attitude towards young people with trauma-experienced backgrounds.

Kibble has also been shortlisted in three categories at The Investors in People Awards 2023.  This includes the award for Learning and Development, Best Apprenticeship Programme and Young Person of the Year recognising the contribution of younger members of staff.

Mr Gillespie, added: “Our Career Start training programme provides an accessible pathway for prospective carers into the sector with financial, training and educational support provided by Kibble.

“Becoming a Child and Youth Care Worker is such a rewarding career path as it is a privilege to be a constant adult in a young person’s life, to support them and motivate them to look positively towards the future.

“Through Career Start there is no requirement for sector specific skills or education, we recruit based on a set of values and provide all necessary, additional training required to fulfil vacant carer roles within the organisation.

“We are committed to bringing the best carers into the industry which is why we go over and above to invest significantly in the learning and development of our staff. By delivering specialised training, our workforce is highly competent and knowledgeable in how to deliver the right care, at the right time to young people who need it most.”

For further information on the programme or to apply for the next cohort visit https://kibblecharity.org/career-start.

Headline image: Kate Houston

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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