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Colleges launch 1800 funded learning spaces to address social care recruitment crisis

By Alan Beresford

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COLLEGES across Scotland have joined forces to in an attempt to address the social care recruitment crisis.

The Introduction to a Career in Social Care course aims to attract more recruits into the sector.
The Introduction to a Career in Social Care course aims to attract more recruits into the sector.

The Introduction to a Career in Social Care course will aim to encourage a variety of people into the care sector, fill job vacancies and improve care services in Scotland

The online course boasts 1800 funded spaces, which provides students with an introduction to the area of social care and a stepping-stone to employment or further training, are available to students across Scotland’s colleges.

A significant feature of this course is supporting students into further study or directly into employment through collaboration between colleges, College Development Network (CDN), the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and local employers.

With opportunities for qualified students many and varied, and vacancies at an all-time high, CDN-led the bid for funding for colleges across the country to offer this course.

CDN is the national agency that supports skills and development across the college sector in Scotland and promotes college as an advantageous educational path which rivals that of university.

According to SSSC, the ongoing serious staffing problems are the result of too few applicants with qualifications or experience.

Scotland’s spending watchdog, Audit Scotland, warned recently that despite annual spending of £5 billion on care services in Scotland, some of these are near crisis point.

According to the Care Inspectorate, more than one third of social care services have struggled with unfilled vacancies in the last 12 months.

Jim Metcalfe, CEO at CDN, said: “It is clear that demand for trained carers is outstripping supply and this is leading the care sector to crisis point in Scotland.

"Colleges aim to provide students with the best opportunities possible for learning and onward job prospects, and they also strive to meet the needs of wider society. It should come as no surprise that colleges have worked hard to deliver a course that will boost the number and quality of applicants for social care jobs.

“We are aware of the growing demand for short, focused training courses that are specific to economic sectors and that help people secure employment opportunities. This course is absolutely an example of that and of Scotland's college sector meeting the needs of the job market and society at large.”

For further information, visit www.cdn.ac.uk/introduction-career-social-care/

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