Life-changing Kirklees scheme helping people into a career in social care up for national award

In2Care Kirklees initiative has been nominated for a top award
In2Care Kirklees initiative has been nominated for a top award

A life-changing Kirklees Council scheme has been nominated for a national award after supporting hundreds of people into a career in social care – making sure vulnerable people get the support they need.

The In2Care Kirklees initiative, established in 2017, aims to attract more people to work in social care and has been shortlisted for Guardian Public Sector Award in the Recruitment and HR category.

Councillor Mus Khan, Cabinet Member for Social Care, said: “There’s a social care crisis. Our population is ageing and we have a rapidly growing demand to deliver the care that vulnerable people need and deserve.

“We need more people to take up a career in social care and this is an issue that the whole country faces. It sadly means that people are having to wait for the care they need in many cases and this simply isn’t good enough.

“What the In2Care scheme has done so brilliantly is reach out to people who would make great carers but need more flexibility because of their family or home life. For example, hours or days they can work, specific shift patterns, non-drivers, and unsociable hours. They also offer people the extra support they might need to get their foot in the door.

“Jobs so important such as these need to be made more flexible so everyone has an equal opportunity to apply and our vulnerable people aren’t missing out on potentially excellent carers.

"It’s a fantastic scheme which is not only helping people into work but helping to ensure that some of the most vulnerable people in Kirklees get the care they need.

“It’s absolutely worth of being shortlisted and deserves the recognition for the huge difference it is making to people’s lives.”

The Kirklees care sector has a workforce of approximately 12,800 but, according to research, care jobs could rise by 25-45 per cent by 2030. This would require an additional 5,700 workers.

In2Care Kirklees provides a local personal matching service between applicants and employers.

The team pull together the applicant’s skills and personal requirements and circulate their details to potential employers.

This removes the barriers of traditional application processes and means people aren’t applying for roles which are not right for them.

They also work alongside local employment schemes to help people requiring additional support. This includes supporting harder to reach groups and giving them opportunities to receive training, job shadowing and support to find employment.

In2Care has also engaged with Kirklees care employers to establish a ‘one stop shop’ advertisement space on Facebook for current job opportunities.

The team also builds relationships with care providers to challenge poor practice, identify missed opportunities and inspire change.

Since 2017 the scheme has supported over 530 local people into local social care jobs - including 190 in domiciliary care, 178 in residential care and 67 personal assistants. 43 per cent of applicants appointed were previously not in work and 39 per cent were new to the industry.

Winners of the Guardian Public Sector Awards will be announced on 26 November