A YOUNG woman from Rattray has graduated from a new initiative designed to give young people an introduction to a career in care.
Nicole Thomson (20) took part in the Get Into Care initiative, run by The Prince’s Trust Scotland and leading care provider Balhousie Care Group, which culminated in all of the students being interviewed for real jobs as care assistants.
The group of 18 to 25-year-olds undertook a six-week in-house course that included an introduction to all aspects of care with accredited learning and work placements at several of Balhousie’s 24 care homes across Scotland.
As well as learning about the care standards, looking after residents and their personal needs, the students also learned how to write an effective CV, present themselves at an interview and other life skills.
Balhousie Care Group financially supported the scheme and also guaranteed each of the students a job interview.
Nicole said: “Since doing this course I have gained more confidence and more skills to help me further the career I love.”
Tony Banks, chairman of Balhousie Care Group, said: “The catalyst for Balhousie Care Group getting involved with the Get Into Care scheme was my belief that too many young people are simply written off and not given a chance to prove themselves.
“I strongly believe businesses should be proactive about offering opportunities to young people, equipping them with the skills they need to get a foot on the ladder and helping them to make something of themselves if they have the right attitude to get ahead.
“A career in care is a vocation as well as a positive career choice, with plenty of potential for personal development as well as the rewards of knowing we can make a difference to the lives of the people in our care. We look forward to welcoming many of the students to Balhousie Care Group team, which is testament to the success of the programme.”
Finlay Laverty, senior head of commercial development at The Prince’s Trust Scotland, added: “Get Into Care is a fantastic initiative for the young people The Prince’s Trust supports.
“The programme provided a very practical and direct route into training and employment and the exceptional learning experience provided by the Balhousie Care Group has given the participants a real head-start as they move towards employment.
“Investment from the private sector is critical if we are to support young people to realise their full potential and prevent a lost generation. By working in partnership and combining our shared skills and expertise, we will help enable Scotland’s young people to achieve and sustain positive outcomes and ultimately, move into jobs.”
The project was the latest in the Get Into… courses run by The Prince’s Trust, which offers practical and financial support to young people and helps them to develop key skills, confidence and motivation that enable them to move into work, education or training.
Other similar courses have included Get Into Retail, Cooking and Cars.
The students came to The Prince’s Trust through the Job Centre and attended two taster sessions to determine their suitability before the course started, as well as meeting some of the residents.
They were based at Balhousie Care Group’s headquarters in Perth before being deployed to homes including Stormont in Blairgowrie.