Long-term unemployed, disabled and elderly people in Cambridgeshire will be helped into work in the health and care sector as part of a multi-million pound project.
The Health and Care Sector Progression Academy is being funded by a £5million grant from the Department for Work and Pensions, with other organisations also contributing, including the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, which has put £2.2million towards the scheme.
The money, announced on August 1, will help train 2,500 people across Cambridgeshire to secure jobs in the industry.
As part of the work of the academy, which is scheduled to begin in October and continue until at least February 2021, there will also be 600 new apprenticeships created providing those who enter into one the positions with the opportunity to progress into full-time work.
The mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, said: “This is a prime example of the benefits Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will receive because of our devolution deal with central government.
“The additional £5.2 million is set to create 600 new apprenticeships, providing us with an opportunity to upskill local people whilst supporting the health and care industry.
“I am excited to see this pilot develop and help us make a difference in the county.”
The scheme is one of six across the country developed in partnership with combined authorities and the government.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, added: “As part of the devolution revolution we’ve handed swathes of power and significant investment to help boost jobs and growth across the country.
“Now we’re going even further to support six areas with devolution deals by working with the new combined authority mayors to pilot innovative employment schemes.
“These pilots will trial new approaches to help the most disadvantaged people in our society to get the security of a good job and a regular pay packet, helping to build a country that works for everyone.”
The scheme has been backed by MP for North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara who said that the project will boost both employers and those seeking work throughout the county.
Mr Vara said: “This is a welcome development and I am very pleased that the government is supporting the combined authority’s vision on local employment.
“The academy will help a considerable number of people across the region who either already work in the health and care sector or are interested in doing so and will be a real boost to employers who are searching for quality staff.”
To find out more about jobs in the health and social care sector, log on to www.cambridgeshirecarejobs24.co.uk. To find out more about being a carer follow the hashtag #couldyoucare on Twitter.