St David’s Care Home

North Wales’ largest residential care home has found the Employability Skills Programme to be a great solution to finding dedicated staff to fill a skills gap within its organisation.

St David’s Care Home in Rhyl employs 40 members of staff and provides 24-hour care for up to 52 residents. When the home began to experience a staff shortage, the programme offered them a way to scout new talent to join their team.

Ruth Waltho, Owner and Manager of St David’s Care Home, said: “Care work is incredibly demanding and requires a lot of dedication and hard work. In addition to this, carers need to be compassionate people who have a natural understanding of the needs of people who require support. Our experience is that many people who want to work in care either don’t know what the work involves, or don’t have the necessary qualities to succeed in a care environment and don’t last long in the job.

“For that reason, it has been difficult for us to find the right people to join our team. Taking on staff members who don’t have any previous care experience is always a risk for us because we’ve seen so many new recruits leave us once they realise what the work really involves. At the same time, it’s not always easy to find the experienced carers we need to fill the skills gaps we’re left with when someone decides to move on.

“As soon as we heard about the programme and what it involved we decided to try it as a way of searching for new talent and finding candidates with the necessary qualities to become permanent members of our team. 

“The Job Centre worked closely with us to understand our needs and ensure they found the right person for us. We even had the opportunity to send two of our senior carers to interview the potential candidates before deciding who to offer the placement to. 

“Taking on individuals through this programme has proved to be an incredibly effective way of filling the skills gap we were experiencing. It allows us to take on inexperienced individuals on a trial basis and train them in the skills we need most within the business. 

“During their placement, we get to know the individuals, see how they fit into our team and assess whether they have the work ethic and compassionate nature to succeed in a care environment before taking them on as a permanent member of staff. 

“We also feel that this system works well for the individuals, who might struggle to get into the care sector without any on the job experience. Not only can they gain practical experience of working in care, they also get to find out what working in a care environment is really like and see whether they enjoy it before committing to a permanent job.  

“The programme has worked incredibly well for us as a business. We would definitely consider taking on more individuals in the future and recommend it to other employers.”

The Employability Skills Programme is designed to provide individuals with the confidence and experience they need to get a job through high-quality work experience placements that provide work-based learning, employability and skills training workshops, upskilling in essential skills and dedicated support staff.

To find out more about the programme click here.