Personal assistants (PAs) employed to help people with care and support needs, are being given the opportunity to boost their skills, network with other PAs and gain a qualification.
Herefordshire Council and Hoople Ltd, with support from Services for Independent Living, have successfully bid for funding to run two, level 2 courses in health and social care. One course will begin in September 2014 and the other will follow in November 2014.
Adults who need services to help them live independent lives have greater choice and control than ever before. In Herefordshire more than 500 people, who have assessed needs, choose to receive a direct payment from the council to pay for services to meet those needs. And around 70 percent use some of this money to employ a personal assistant to help them manage their daily routines and schedule of activities.
Personal assistants carry out a wide range of tasks to help the person they work for live as independently as possible. For example, a typical PA may help their employer get out and about, as well as providing more personal support such as washing, dressing, shopping, laundry and meal arrangements.
Now there will be an opportunity for each PA to receive free training and work towards achieving a level 2 qualification. The council is also able to pay the PAs while they attend the course, so that their clients can use their money to pay for cover.
Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This is great news for the county’s PAs and for the people who employ them. The PAs can gain an accredited qualification plus all the other benefits of networking with other people employed in similar roles. In addition, their employers can rest assured that their employees are gaining skills that will benefit them both in the long run.”
“The training is available to those already employed as a PA and we will pay for them to attend. This means that their employer won’t be out of pocket and can use the cash they’d usually spend employing their PA to buy in some additional support.
“We can also provide the training for people not employed at the moment but wishing to work in this field. We anticipate this is a growth area so want to make sure we boost employment opportunities within the county by making sure training is available.”