£7m pi­lot for health jobs

Un­em­ployed, el­derly and dis­abled to be helped into work

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

Peter­bor­ough’s long-term un­em­ployed and el­derly and dis­abled res­i­dents will be helped into work in the health and so­cial care sec­tor as part of a £7.2 mil­lion project.

The new ‘Health and Care Sec­tor Progression Academy’ is largely be­ing funded by a £5.2 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion from the Gov­ern­ment, with the rest made up from the de­volved Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough Com­bined Author­ity, which is headed up by the county’s mayor James Palmer.

The land­mark pi­lot is one of six an­nounced by the Gov­ern­ment on Tues­day.

For­mer may­oral can­di­date Julie How­ell, a dis­abil­e­fits ity rights cam­paigner who has Mul­ti­ple Sclero­sis, said: “I would like to hear how the mayor plans to in­te­grate dis­abled and chron­i­cally ill peo­ple into the work­place given their of­ten com­plex needs.”

She also wanted to know the plans to as­sess dis­abled and chron­i­cally ill peo­ple for suit­abil­ity for re­turn to work and any po­ten­tial loss of en­ti­tle­ment to ben­e­fits and care ser­vices which “make dis­abled and chron­i­cally ill peo­ple’s lives live­able.”

The money will help train around 2,100 peo­ple – in­clud­ing 600 new ap­pren­tices – to se­cure jobs in the in­dus­try. Those al­ready work­ing in the sec­tor will also be given as­sis­tance to progress their ca­reers.

Mayor Palmer said: “This is a prime ex­am­ple of the ben- Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough will re­ceive be­cause of our de­vo­lu­tion deal with cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

“I am ex­cited to see this pi­lot de­velop and help us make a dif­fer­ence in the county.”

Lynne Byrne, se­nior op­er­a­tions man­ager at Age UK Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough, said the pi­lot will be “good news for older peo­ple.”

She added: “Car­ing is a very de­mand­ing role, re­quires flex­i­ble and unso­cial work­ing hours to sup­port the most vul­ner­a­ble and may not be suit­able for all.” North West Cam­bridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said the project “will be a real boost to em­ploy­ers who are search­ing for qual­ity staff.”

The academy will be held at nu­mer­ous venues. A launch date has not yet been fi­nalised.

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