More than 200 carers from across Bradford and Airedale have benefited from a new initiative designed to help them back into employment – double its original target.
CReate, which is celebrating its first anniversary, aims to find a route back into work, self-employment, college courses or volunteering for those people who have given up their job to look after a loved one, or are juggling work and care.
It also supports those wanting a change in direction; have never worked due to caring; or are ex-carers returning to the workplace after a bereavement.
Run by Shipley charity the Carers’ Resource, the project stages a range of free training sessions and one-to-one support to help carers with everything from job interview skills to compiling a powerful CV to sourcing actual job and learning opportunities. It has also given participants an insight into their employment rights.
Over and above this it has worked in partnership with more than 40 local businesses to highlight the pool of talent that exists among the caring community and why it is important for employers to look after carers in the workplace.
People who have been involved in the project have gone on to land jobs in a range of sectors, including becoming a care worker, a driver, a receptionist and a security officer. Others have become volunteers working with children, animals and the police.
“We know from our own research that less than 50 per cent of carers in the district are in employment – but that many more would like that opportunity.
“CReate is designed to equip these people with the expertise, confidence and know-how to either support them back into employment, or guide them into training and learning opportunities.”
“The inaugural year for CReate has been one of success, meeting and beating our original targets, and we look forward to building on this platform for the remaining two years of the project, which is funded through the Big Lottery Fund and JobCentre Plus.”
“Feedback has been extremely positive, with carers telling us that we have made it possible to put the dark days behind them and they can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.”