A pioneering new training programme is helping people to secure work within the North East’s adult social care sector.
Dementia support charity and residential care provider, Dementia Matters (previously known as Dementia Care), has launched the new Dementia Matters Academy to help fulfil its recruitment needs while also encouraging more people, including school leavers, into roles in care.
Delivered by qualified trainers and experienced health practitioners, the four-week long course covers all of the fundamentals of basic care as well as some specialist skills relevant to Dementia Matters’ field of expertise, including bed bathing, skin integrity, catheter management and how to communicate effectively with people living with dementia. Previous experience is not mandatory, and course graduates are guaranteed jobs within the organisation upon completion.
“Recruitment and retention are one of the biggest issues faced by organisations operating within adult social care,” said Hannah Stevens, head of HR at Dementia Matters.
“A recent study conducted by Skills for Care showed that at any one time, there could be as many as 90,000 job vacancies for care roles advertised online. Over the years, we have tried to be creative with our recruitment process and simplify it as much as possible for potential employees, however, we have still found it difficult to attract new candidates and retain those with existing skills and experience.
“By launching the Dementia Matters Academy, we have effectively widened our resource pool and opened up our job vacancies to all. Through comprehensive, bespoke training, we can mould candidates into ideal employees who have both a sound understanding of how we operate and the vital skills needed to enable them to succeed.”
Dementia Matters has just recruited its second intake of Academy students following a successful pilot programme earlier in the year. To date, all of the graduates from the first programme are still employed by the charity.
Dr Fraser Quin, chief executive at Dementia Matters, added:
“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far with the Dementia Matters Academy.
“The care sector is notoriously difficult to find work in, especially with no previous experience, but skilled care workers, especially those who specialise in dementia care, are in short supply.
“The launch of the Academy has allowed us to address these issues head-on and at the same time, develop a training and employment model that supports our business growth, instils our employment values from day one and increases the employability of young and untrained people within the North East.”
Dementia Matters provides a range of services from its centres in Newcastle and Hexham including residential, respite and 24-hour home care to people living with dementia, as well as practical support for carers and family members.
For more information, visit www.dementiamatters.net.