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Students at Ayrshire College; Photo credit: Ayrshire College

In response to the recruitment crisis facing social care, Scotland’s colleges have launched Introduction to a Career in Social Care, an online course designed to bring more trained candidates into this area of work.

There are 1800 funded spaces available on the course, which provides students with an introduction to the area of social care and a stepping-stone to employment or further training.

A significant feature of this course is supporting students into further study or directly into employment through collaboration between colleges, College Development Network (CDN), the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and local employers. 

According to the Care Inspectorate, more than one third of social care services have struggled with unfilled vacancies in the last 12 months. 

Jim Metcalfe, CEO at College Development Network, said: “It is clear that demand for trained carers is outstripping supply and this is leading the care sector to crisis point in Scotland. Colleges aim to provide students with the best opportunities possible for learning and onward job prospects, and they also strive to meet the needs of wider society. It should come as no surprise that colleges have worked hard to deliver a course that will boost the number and quality of applicants for social care jobs.

Amanda MacDonald, a learner at West College Scotland, explains: “I’d applied for a few care jobs, but the answer was always the same, that I needed some experience. I was a little apprehensive about starting [the course], but knew I had to do it if I wanted to get anywhere. I’ve learned a lot and really enjoyed the case studies. It’s given me a really good insight into what a job in care will actually be like and given me the skills to do it.”

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