Since October 2016 146 unpaid carers or former carers have found employment thanks to Working for Carers, an innovative partnership between Carers Trust and its London-based Network Partners.
A further 84 have moved into education or training while 74 are actively searching for work. Many more of the 739 carers or former carers who have registered with the project have taken a step forward by developing their CV and building confidence through attending project workshops.
Having demonstrated its success in engaging carers and helping them move back into work, Working for Carers will now move into a second phase of growth. The project aims to register and support increasing numbers of carers across London. And it will also implement learning from the first phase of the project, with a stronger focus on both employer engagement and tighter recruitment criteria for carers.
Speaking at the Working for Carers showcase event, Malcolm Moore, one of the carers who has been helped back into employment, said:
"My Working for Carers Employment Personal Adviser, Nem, has supported me since 2018. He helps people like myself in difficult and challenging personal circumstances begin the return to employment with one-to-one support, advice and training."
And reflecting on the success of Working for Carers, Director of England at Carers Trust, Kathryn Hill, said:
“Three in five of us will become a carer for a family member at some point in our lives. And many such carers will need to give up their job to be able to provide that care. So it’s vital that there is support for carers at that crucial stage when they are looking to move back into work, often after a long period outside employment. That’s what Working for Carers is able to do, building carers’ confidence and skills so they are ready to take that next step of applying for work when the moment is right.
“We are thrilled to have shown over the last three years that, with the right support, carers can move back into work – no matter how long they have been out of the workplace. And looking forward, we are determined to increase the numbers of carers registering with the project so we can support them in their move back into fulfilling employment.”
Working for Carers is a project for carers and former carers who, because of their caring role, have not been in employment for a while. Some are unsure on how to get themselves back into the workplace, and many fear that their workplace skills are out of date.
A key aspect of the project’s success has been not pushing carers straight away into applying for work but instead to pursue their employment goals through building up their skills and confidence. The programme offers flexibility, considering each carer’s individual needs and ambitions. And it engages with local businesses to create employment, training and volunteering opportunities. Carers registering with the service receive: one-to-one support and advice on writing CVs and interview techniques; help with their job-search; and access to financial support to address challenges to finding work – like help with travel costs to interviews or buying interview clothes. Up to now, Working for Carers has helped:
• 118 carers with access to volunteering opportunities
• 462 carers with access to peer support
• 418 carers improve their confidence
• Refer 122 carers to specialist support
• 383 carers gain additional skills and experiences
• 410 carers gain access to information on improved health and wellbeing
Read Jane’s story on how Working for Carers helped a London carer who gave up her career to provide care for her mother.
Working for Carers was launched in October 2016 and is led by Carers Trust. It’s funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme. And it’s delivered right across London with four Carers Trust Network Partners acting as hubs: Harrow Carers and Redbridge Carers Support Service lead on work in North, East and West London; while Carers Lewisham and Camden Carers Service lead in South and Central London.