A Harrogate and Ripon charity is helping to spearhead a new Government initiative to support the growing number of carers back into work – and plug a widening skills gap.
The Carers’ Resource, which is based at North Park Road, Harrogate and Allhallowgate, Ripon, has played a key role in guiding more than 200 people who look after loved ones into employment.
Drawing on carers’ job success stories, the charity was invited by Ministers to share its Yorkshire expertise on a national stage at the launch of Carers in Employment.
This is a £1.6m project designed to explore new ways of helping people balance their day-to-day caring responsibilities with work.
The charity’s founding director, Anne Smyth OBE, said the pool of talent among Yorkshire’s carers could help overcome a growing skills shortage in some sectors.
“We know from our own research that fewer than half of Yorkshire’s carers are in employment – and that many more would like that opportunity.
“This initiative is designed to open up more employment opportunities for carers and provide them with the support they need to stay in work and make a positive contribution.
“It will also prompt employers and recruitment agencies to wake up to the energy and enthusiasm that carers can bring to a role.”
She added: “Giving carers extra support to manage caring alongside paid work would not only benefit them and their families, it would also give British businesses and the UK economy potential savings of up to £1.3bn a year.”
The charity has a long track-record of supporting carers back into employment and guiding them into training and learning opportunities. People it has helped have gone on to land jobs in a range of sectors, some even setting up their own business.
This project builds on the Care Act, which came into force last week and puts carers on a par with the people they support with regard to their health and well-being.
Local councils now have a duty to meet carers’ eligible support needs and consider their wellbeing, which includes learning and employment.
Nicky Morgan MP, Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “Carers who feel forced to leave their jobs are a real loss to the workforce and economy. We want to give people the peace of mind about their loved ones that helps them keep their jobs.”