Balhousie Care Group introduces young people to the care sector through Prince’s Trust programme

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Balhousie Care Group, a leading provider of residential care in Scotland, has joined forces with The Prince’s Trust Scotland to offer young people the opportunity to train for a career in the care sector. Running for five weeks, Balhousie has, with the support of the youth charity, introduced seven people to the industry through a combination of classroom-based learning and on-the-job practical training.

Yesterday, the participating students, aged between 18 and 24, completed their training and were presented with a certificate at the Queens Hotel, Perth, to mark their achievements over the course of the five weeks. Students have been working at several Balhousie Care Homes across Tayside and Perthshire including Ruthven Towers in Auchterarder, Luncarty and North Inch in Perthshire, Dalnaglar in Crieff and Clement Park and Moyness in Dundee.

Providing work experience

Participating in initiatives with The Prince’s Trust Scotland since 2012, Balhousie Care Group has welcomed dozens of students into their care homes over the past five years with an aim to help those willing to get some formal training as well as some valuable work experience on their CV.  

With a focus on training the students in how to be a carer, Balhousie has introduced the students to a person-centred approach, as part of their personalisation initiative to find out what’s important to people, from the care home residents to the care home staff.

Jozi Stables, Support Team Manager at Balhousie Care Group, has led The Prince’s Trust project, spending time offering classroom based training to the students every week as well as supporting them throughout the five weeks. Jozi has loved every minute of the project. She explained:

“This project has highlighted to me how rewarding it can be to help develop people and introduce them to the opportunities that can be enjoyed working in the care sector. The course gives the students formal training along with an in-depth understanding of what a care assistant role entails, from the theory of Moving and Handling residents and learning about National Care Standards, to practical training in the work environment.”

After learning about the care sector and experiencing some beneficial on-the-job training, some of the students are now considering a career in working in care. Jozi continued:

“There are many perceptions about what a care role looks like and there is a lack of awareness about how rewarding and varied it can be. By introducing young people to the industry in partnership with organisations such as The Prince’s Trust, we have been able to open care up to people who perhaps wouldn’t have considered it before and, having spent time with our latest students, the enthusiasm is plain to see.”

Changing perceptions about care

Hannah McLean has been working at Balhousie Ruthven Towers throughout The Prince’s Trust project after her aunt encouraged her to consider working in the care sector. Hannah said:

“My Job Centre Advisor gave me a leaflet about the five week training course with The Prince’s Trust. I was a bit unsure at first and I had never really considered working in the care industry. After speaking with my auntie, I decided to go for it. She works in the caring profession and encouraged me to take the opportunity and find out more about it this way. I’m glad I did. I realise a lot of the job is spending time interacting with the residents and getting to know them as well as physically caring for them. I’ve really enjoyed the classroom based learning too as it has been good to meet the other students and share our experiences every week.”

Finlay Laverty, Senior Head of Public Sector of The Prince’s Trust Scotland, said:

“The Get into Care programme has been a great opportunity for young people to gain the vital skills and experience they need for a fantastic career in the care sector.

“The Prince’s Trust Scotland is committed to supporting disadvantaged and unemployed young people into work, Education and business. Working in partnership with Balhousie Care Group on a course like this helps us reach even more young people across Scotland who need this crucial support to reach their full potential.”