Being a personal assistant (PA) is a rewarding job and you just have to talk to anyone who works as a PA to realise this. PAs work with people who need care (also known as individual employers) to support them to live their life the way they want to and the variety of available roles is vast.
There are lots of job opportunities available now with many more becoming available in the very near future. This is because the need for more PAs is expected to increase over the next few years. Now is the time to get more people interested in the role and supported into jobs.
Skills for Care, in partnership with NHS England and the Department of Health, has commissioned four exciting projects to test different approaches to raise the profile of the role and aid the recruitment and retention of personal assistants (PAs).
The aim of the funded projects is to produce successful models that can be replicated by others who want and need to encourage more people in their communities to work as a PA.
Working in partnership with NHS Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups and Rural Community Action Nottingham, Nottinghamshire County Council is targeting rural areas and hard to reach communities (including deaf and traveller) to attract PAs who have the knowledge and understanding of those communities and individuals within them. They will promote the role of the PA and support people with training so they can be accredited on the Support with Confidence Scheme and registered on the Notts Help Yourself PA Directory. This will give people who want to employ PAs a greater choice and assurance that they will be able to recruit from their community.
To find out more about this project, contact Amanda Ashworth, Skills for Care locality manager (Amanda.Ashworth@skillsforcare.org.uk) or Jon Stronach from Nottinghamshire County Council (email@example.com).
The Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Portsmouth (SHIP) Transforming Care Partnership are working with a local family trust and the universities in Portsmouth and Southampton to focus on finding PAs to work with people with more complex needs. The project will promote the PA role to students on, for example, health and social care and psychology courses who may be looking for some extra paid work while they study or looking for a placement as part of their course. This promotion will give students a taster of what the role will entail if they should choose becoming a PA as a career.
For more information contact Caroline Munro, Skills for Care locality manager (Caroline.Munro@skillsforcare.org.uk) or Louise Osborne from SHIP (Louise.Osborne@WestHampshireCCG.nhs.uk).
My Life Legacy is a charity based in Wigan and they are working with different organisations to give them the skills to deliver a Pathway to Employment programme. Pathway to Employment uses an asset based approach to encourage, prepare and support individuals to be PAs, and uses a variety of teaching techniques and involvement from PAs and their employers in five weekly sessions. This project will use a train the trainer approach which means individuals from the organisations will undertake the programme themselves and be given the support and tools to recruit potential PAs onto the programme and then into employment by matching them with people who want to employ PAs.
For more information contact, Nardia Lloyd-Ashton, Skills for Care locality manager (Nardia.Lloyd-Ashton@skillsforcare.org.uk) or contact Caroline Tomlinson at My Life (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disability Sheffield’s Individual Employer and PA Development Group is working with Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Hallam University to promote the PA role to health and social care, occupational therapy, social work and physiotherapy students and those looking for part time work. The project will see the development and delivery of a taught session on what it means to be a PA before holding drop in sessions with individual employers and PAs to find out more about job opportunities.
For more information, contact Zoe Thomas, Skills for Care locality manager (Zoe.Thomas@skillsforcare.org.uk) or Emily Morton at Disability Sheffield CIL (email@example.com).
These projects will be completed at the end of March 2017. For regular updates search #paframework.