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Caring Plymouth launches to promote health and social care

More support will be available for people who want to start or progress their career in the health and social care sector thanks to a new city-wide partnership.


Working on behalf of the city’s health and social care employers, the Caring Plymouth partnership will work together to connect local people with opportunities for skills, training, education, careers and jobs.


Caring Plymouth aims to support the need for a sustainable skilled workforce, with an initial focus on tackling staff recruitment and retention in adult social care.


The Plymouth City Council-led partnership will help people to access training and education so they can develop the skills needed for a career pathway in health or social care. This will support residents to find the right jobs for them, filling vitally important job vacancies in the city to help relieve some of the pressure on the wider health and care system.

There are currently more than 200 vacancies in adult social care, with the majority of these in domiciliary care roles. These roles provide care to adults living in their own homes, enabling them to keep their independence.


Caring Plymouth aims to improve the information, advice and guidance that is available to people new to the sector, as well as supporting the existing workforce with career progression. To support better access to training and education, a new Adult Social Care Skills and Training Directory is under development and due for release in 2024.


The partnership will also host a new awards ceremony, Plymouth’s Celebrating Excellence in Care Awards. This event, set to be held on 23 March 2024, will celebrate and recognise the hard work of the city’s valued frontline care workers.


Councillor Mary Aspinall, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that we’re launching Caring Plymouth. Making Plymouth a great place to grow up and grow old in is one of our key priorities and ensuring that the right care is available for people is incredibly important.


“Across the sector there are clear challenges with both recruitment and retention. While this problem is not exclusive to Plymouth, we are determined to address it and we’re taking a collaborative approach. The initial focus of Caring Plymouth will be on adult social care as that is currently where the largest pressure is – if there aren’t enough care workers then we cannot provide care packages, and this can create a backlog in hospitals which means beds aren’t free for new patients.


“Working in adult social care is a highly rewarding and all our care employees are so highly valued in the city, so we want to get much better at celebrating them and encouraging people to pursue these roles as a career choice. There are opportunities for people to develop and progress into more senior roles and there are lots of jobs available. Caring Plymouth will work to promote this, supporting existing workers so they feel supported and more likely to stay in their job roles, as well as reaching out to potential new recruits.”

Neil Eastwood, author of the book ‘Saving Social Care - How to find more of the best frontline care employees and keep the ones you have’ and founder and CEO of Care Friends, spoke at the Caring Plymouth launch event. He said: “Health and care sectors across the UK and internationally are facing huge and worsening workforce challenges. Local responses to these challenges are commonly piecemeal and uncoordinated. That is why it is so exciting to see Plymouth bring stakeholders together with a clear mission and a strong combined offer to both those considering a career in health and care and those already in the workforce. Caring Plymouth shows what is possible and I am sure it will be held up as an example of how by working together we can tackle this challenge effectively.”


The delivery model for Caring Plymouth is based on the successful partnership Building Plymouth, which connects people with career opportunities in construction and the built environment. The new partnership will take a similar joined-up approach to tackling a second growth sector for the city and is set to change the way individuals are recruited and transitioned into vital roles.


A new city-wide recruitment campaign will be launching soon to highlight the opportunities available in adult social care, connecting residents with the Caring Plymouth team who can help them to access training, apply for the right roles and/ or progress their careers.


To find out more about Caring Plymouth, visit www.skillslaunchpadplym.co.uk/caringplymouth.

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