Last year saw the completion of the Glasgow City Region City Deal 'In Work Progression' pilot, a two year project providing specialist support to small and medium sized enterprises in the care sector, which aimed to increase business resilience and ensure employees have the skills and training required to advance in the labour market.
So, for those involved in the design and delivery of the pilot, a gathering at The Lighthouse this week was the ideal opportunity to reflect on progress made, acknowledge the commitment shown by the care homes and their staff, celebrate individual achievements, and recognise the work of the consultants who evaluated the project (The Learning and Work Institute) as well as the participating city council staff.
Funded by Glasgow City Region City Deal and Glasgow City Council, with support from DWP, the In Work Progression (IWP) pilot offered bespoke support, through dedicated business advisors to care sector businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Specialist advice, as well as a range of interventions designed to help develop and grow their businesses was delivered, with the goal of increasing productivity and improving organisational performance.
For care sector staff, the IWP pilot focused on identifying their specific training and development needs. Each home was assisted to develop a tailored package of support which would help staff to increase earnings potential and progress in their career.
Many staff have since taken on additional responsibilities, putting to use the new skills and competencies gained. They have also shown an increase in levels of job satisfaction, which has boosted their well-being.
This innovative pilot has demonstrated clear signs of success. The care homes involved reported improvements in recruitment, retention and financial performance, as well as the potential for reinvesting business savings into the development of their workforce.
Development of care sector staff can be evidenced through their training successes (573 training opportunities were completed) and the number of staff increasing their earnings due to participating in the opportunities offered via the pilot.
Rosemary Jalloh, Manager of Ashgill Care Home said; "In Work Progression has made a huge difference to Ashgill and we wouldn't be where we are today without it. In six months we've gone from only 27 residents and high use of agency staff to being nearly full with little use of agency staff as our staff are much happier and see a future. My team benefited from a range of training, which developed skills in medication administration, staff supervision and taking charge of a unit which involves liaising with multi-disciplinary teams and relatives and which prompts a pay increases of a further £1 per hour. They now have greater knowledge and also more confidence to make changes within the home - so everyone benefits."
Katy Morrison, Management Consultant of Connect Three said; "It was a pleasure to be involved in delivering training support to the care homes involved in the IWP pilot. Staff who might previously have been tentative about gaining new proficiencies were fully supported, appreciating the difference their new skills could make to the people they care for".
Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: "We want to ensure that the care sector has the required support to meet future challenges and that it continues to play a key role in the city's economic future. This pioneering Glasgow City Region City Deal project offers bespoke support that increases business strength, raises excellence and through access to training, develops care sector employees; offering opportunities to increase their earning potential. Giving practical support to care sector businesses and staff builds resilience which will ultimately be of value to the increasing number of people who will rely on the services it delivers in the years to come".