Grants to help young jobless into caring careers

A recruitment programme offering £1,000 grants to adult social care employers for hiring young, unemployed trainees is rolled out across Britain today.

Care First Careers, a joint initiative between the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions, is backed with £75m government funding, enough for 50,000 apprenticeships.

From today, employers in England, Wales and Scotland will be eligible for the £1,000 incentive if they recruit a care worker aged 18 to 24 who has been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for at least six months.

Care services minister Phil Hope said: “Care services offer challenging and rewarding careers, from managing care homes to supporting older and disabled people to live independently in their own homes.

“I hope Care First Careers will encourage more young people to consider a future in care and help give them the leg-up they need to get started.”

The programme, which has been piloted in four districts since being announced in the 2009 budget, is part of the Labour government’s commitment to ensuring that young people who have been unemployed for more than six months will be offered a job, work experience or training.

Recruits will be given two weeks’ pre-employment training before they start.

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