Local people are being urged to join an online careers fair to find out more about gaining new jobs in health and social care.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is holding the ‘Your Career’ event as part of its plans to drive the region’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event on Thursday 26 November will consist of two webinars – one for health care and one for social care – featuring local employers who are recruiting now, together with experts advising on the benefits, rewards and career development offered in the sector.
There are more than 350 careers in the NHS, with more than 1,500 jobs currently available in the West Midlands. As well as clinical staff, these include receptionists, call handlers, administrative support staff, IT engineers, secretaries, switchboard operators and payroll officers.
Social care jobs available now include care workers, support workers and administrative roles to provide backup office support.
The WMCA funds a wide range of training courses to equip local people with the skills they need to gain new jobs in growth sectors, including health and social care.
Chloe Southall, aged 23, from Nuneaton, was working as a passenger assistant for a local taxi firm and wanted to push herself further, but she was low on confidence and didn’t know what she wanted to do for a career.
Coventry-based training provider PET-Xi helped her to upskill to enhance her CV, which involved gaining level 2 qualifications in customer service, health and safety, and IT.
The courses, which were funded by the WMCA, enabled Chloe to find out more about jobs she might enjoy and equipped her with a variety of transferable skills.
As a result, she has secured a full-time role as a care support worker, helping people with disabilities to stay independent in their homes.
“One day I could be helping someone do the basics such as cooking and cleaning, while the next I’ll be keeping someone with a mental health illness company to make sure they’re okay. I really feel like I am making a difference and on a path where I can progress.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, who will be opening the event, said:
“We know sadly that many people have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, while others who are still in work are feeling uncertain about their future.
“In these difficult times health and social care are still growth sectors, with a huge variety of jobs offering rewarding careers. Chloe’s story is a great example of how we are equipping local people with the skills needed to work with some of the most vulnerable people in society, and there are thousands more jobs across the region in social care.
“I would urge anyone who is looking to start a new career in health or social care to register now for either or both webinars and hear directly from employers about how to access current and future job opportunities.”
Employers taking part in the social care webinar include domiciliary care provider Pleasant Valley Care, based in Birmingham.
Registered manager Kacey Akpoteni said: “Social care offers an array of opportunities and comprehensive training, leading to rewarding jobs and career growth. We are recruiting care and support workers at entry and supervisory levels to help vulnerable people, including the elderly or those with disabilities, enjoy independent and fulfilled lives. We also have administrative vacancies in quality management, training and HR.”
Shirley Way, locality manager (Midlands) at Skills for Care, who is hosting the social care webinar, said: “Adult social care is one of the few sectors where jobs are increasing in the current market. A career in social care offers lots of different long-term employment prospects, with opportunities for promotion and progression as well as job security.”
Cllr George Duggins, WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills and leader of Coventry City Council, added:
“The virtual events are for local residents of all ages, who will be able to find out about the benefits of working within health and social care as well as the rewards and career progression. I hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this opportunity.”
The ‘Your Career – Social Care’ webinar runs from 10-11am on Thursday 26 November. To book your place, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2170452856474597390
The ‘Your Career – Health Care’ webinar runs from 11.30am-12.30pm on the same day. To book your place, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4096378314407981840
For more information about jobs and careers in health and social care, visit https://beta.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/careers-webinars/