Caerphilly County Borough Council’s PASSPORT Programme has once again been successful in assisting a young person to find employment.
Pauline Viney, aged 24 from New Tredegar, was referred to the PASSPORT Programme in 2013 after completing a nine-week ‘Care that Works’ course organised through Communities First. Alongside gaining care-related skills and receiving employability skills training, Pauline also completed work experience in the care sector through placements.
Before starting on the ‘Care that Works’ course, Pauline was a full time mum looking after her son. Pauline said of her situation: “I was looking for work but child care was a problem, so it was hard for me to find a job which was flexible enough to suit me.” The ‘Care That Works’ course provided Pauline with the opportunity that she needed to find work that was in line with her commitments, but also with her interests.
For young people like Pauline, the Passport Programme and ‘Care that Works’ programme act as a boost into employment in the care sector through endowing participants with a variety of learning experiences. The placements helped Pauline to expand on her care knowledge, particularly with relevance to the provision of care to service users with particular health issues or requirements, but they also helped to build on her personal skills. Pauline said: “Following my work placements, I have become a lot more comfortable with meeting new people and I am able to work confidently in a team as well as on my own.”
The PASSPORT Programme has been developed by the Caerphilly Local Service Board and has received funding through the Welsh Government’s Local Service Board initiative backed by the European Social Fund. The programme’s aim is to help young people aged 16-24 to find work and gain experience and skills that will be valuable to them in their future career. Caerphilly County Borough Council and Job Centre Plus have also provided funding to the programme and it is hoped this in turn will reduce the number of people aged 16-24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
During her time on the Passport Programme, Pauline was supported to find sustainable employment and now works for Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Home Assistance and Reablement Team (H.A.R.T), which offers home support for adults who require specific care, allowing them to remain independent. She also has a casual job working in several of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Day Centres, including Brondeg Day Centre in Blackwood, Oaklands Day Centre in Rhymney and Twyn Carn Day Centre in Risca.
Pauline recognises the importance of her work placements through the ‘Care that Works’ and PASSPORT Programmes in opening up further employment opportunities, particularly in terms of providing her with the extensive care knowledge that she now holds. To this end, Pauline feels that she has benefited greatly from her time on the PASSPORT Programme. “I think that the programme was a positive experience, particularly as it helped me get back into employment,” said Pauline. “I was offered a lot of support and help to have access to the training I needed in order to continue and progress in the care sector. I would definitely recommend the programme to young people in my position across the county borough, as it helped me a lot.”
Pauline’s progression since the PASSPORT Programme has also been recognised by her current employers. Her manager at H.A.R.T, Hazel Jones, is pleased with the success Pauline has had. She said: “Pauline has a very good work ethos and she values and recognises the importance of her role with H.A.R.T, which is vital in this line of work. She realises how her role impacts on vulnerable people in the community and she understands how to engage with them in order to provide high quality care. It is clear to me as Pauline’s current manager that she has learned a lot and developed as a person because of the PASSPORT Programme.”
Pauline is extremely comfortable in her current role with H.A.R.T and her work with the day centres, and she maintains high hopes for future progression: “At the moment I’m happy with what I’m doing, settling in well and looking to continue with education in the future. I am currently working on my QCF Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care and want to go on to do my Level 3 Diploma – and who knows what will come up after that.”
Cllr Christine Forehead, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for HR & Governance, said: “Pauline is an example of the importance of the PASSPORT Programme, but also of successful partnership working. Caerphilly County Borough Council and Communities First came together to ensure that Pauline received the best possible training in order for her to progress, and she has obviously gone from strength to strength since her time on the ‘Care that Works’ course and her PASSPORT Programme placements. As well as this, it is great to see that young people are being encouraged to gain experience and work in the care sector, as this is a vital service at the heart of the community that must be maintained and preserved.
“I would like to offer my best wishes to Pauline – I hope that she continues to find success in her current and future employment.”
If you are interested in being referred to the PASSPORT Programme, please visit www.caerphilly.gov.uk or telephone the PASSPORT team on 01443 866752 to find out more.