Care UK has partnered with the Careers & Enterprise Company on their ‘Open Doors’ project, which provides secondary school students the opportunity to learn about the careers available to them within a care provider and explore working in a care home ‘behind the scenes’.
The first ‘Open Doors’ event at Care UK was hosted at Silversprings care home in Thorrington, Essex. Year 10 students learnt about the variety of careers available within a care home, as well as careers across the company, including within Care UK’s Colchester based Support Centre.
Twenty students from St Helena’s School were welcomed to Silversprings with a full care home tour, where they met residents and Care UK colleagues with different academic and career backgrounds. Students met with carers and nurses, spoke to those working in the kitchen and within hospitality and discussed career pathways and individual journeys with managers.
Following the tour, the students engaged with various Care UK colleagues, from both the Support Centre and care homes, to learn more about the different opportunities and career development routes available at Care UK. Students were able to ask questions and have an in-depth discussion about the potential professions available to them, as well as hearing colleagues’ stories from their own work experience, early job roles, and the lessons they’ve learned over the course of their careers.
Having met with students during ‘Open Doors’, Omar Taylor, Care UK’s Regional Director for Essex, said, “I am delighted for us to have hosted this opportunity for local students, so that they can learn more about a career in care and how care homes operate. I am proud that, as a region, we are working hard to pilot a formalised work experience programme to further allow those interested in a career in care to learn more and experience the workplace. We have a number of early career initiatives that we are developing, and we are also working with SEND schools and disadvantaged groups to raise awareness of what they can achieve, and the support on offer to them.”
Speaking about the event, Samuel Mort, Hotel Services Manager at Care UK, said, “I am passionate about raising awareness of the company and the early careers programmes we offer, such as apprenticeships and our sector-leading Chef Academy. It is rewarding to show young people of all backgrounds and academic abilities that you can have a meaningful career regardless of whether or not you leave school with straight A’s.
“I left school with a U in Maths and with other grades below C, and I have various learning challenges including ADHD. My first role after leaving school was a Kitchen Assistant. I worked very hard and applied myself to all the learning opportunities that were available to me. I now have the responsibility to support around 40 homes within four regions, whilst managing and developing teams who work in kitchens, hospitality and housekeeping. This is all in order to ensure that colleagues are achieving their potential and have a fulfilling career at Care UK.”
Care UK’s Head of Resourcing, Victoria Cole, said, “Care UK is dedicated to attracting young talent to the sector and developing the care work force of the future, so that they can embark on a fulfilling career with us. Increasing our engagement and activity with schools and other education providers is key to helping younger generations find out more about the opportunities available to them, and it raises awareness of careers across care. I am keen to continue delivering experiences of value to students and supporting them with their journey in finding out what they can, and might like to, do in their future employment.”