New scheme to plug gap in social care staff unveiled

A “CENTRE of excellence” to boost the number of youngsters training to be health and social care workers has been set up in Bradford.

The first of the district’s Industrial Centres of Excellence were set up in 2013 as a way of plugging gaps in certain industries in Bradford. Existing centres focus on construction, business and engineering.

Now an Industrial Centre of Excellence for Health & Social Care has been set up as a partnership between health trusts, local schools and Bradford Council.

It was created to help deal with growing skills gaps in the social care industry, and to bring in new blood to help refresh an ageing workforce.

The industrial centres of excellence are for people aged 14-19, based over different sites, and offer young people work placements, business mentoring, visits to local employers and advice on the best way to get a career in their chosen industry.

The Health and Social Care ICE brings together the Bradford District Care Trust, Better Start Bradford, Airedale Health Trust, Bradford Council, Children’s Place Nurseries, the Skills for Care Sector Council., Bradford Academy, Bradford College, the University of Bradford, Parkside School in Cullingworth and Bradford Girls Grammar School.

The ICEs have been delivering industry led programmes for the last three years, with over 3,000 students studying technical based study programmes in the sectors that were deemed as being key to developing future prosperity in Bradford. It was hoped that they would help Bradford “grow its own” workforce in areas where it was lacking. The scheme involves 18 schools across the district.

The Health and Social Care ICE kicked off its first programme in October with 80 students attending a “Careers Carousel Exploration Day” held at the University of Bradford.

The programme will create careers pathways into the sector by integrating important industry skills into the curriculum delivered through masterclasses, field trips, work project and work placements.

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