Unemployed people from South Tyneside are being given a hands-on opportunity to take care of their future by taking their first step onto the employment ladder.
Sixteen budding carers, all with an excellent bedside manner, have successfully completed a fully funded care working training programme with West Harton Churches Action Station working in partnership with Jarrow-based Open Door Community Care and Chuter Ede Education Centre.
The course is co-funded through South Tyneside's Flexible Training Fund and the European Social Fund.
The part-time eight-week course which took place at South Shields-based West Harton Churches arms candidates with a host of new skills ranging from patient health and safety and food hygiene to moving and handling.
The majority of the modules are certified and already 12 of the candidates have completed the course and found full time employment in the borough.
To help candidates find employment, Action Station works with TEN to help match candidates with employers looking to recruit.
Hazel McCallion, manager of West Harton Churches Action Station, said: "The training programme teaches candidates how to deal with individuals who have a range of disabilities and need either home help or have been moved to a residential centre."
Before enrolling on the course all the candidates take part in an introduction to the profession with Open Door Community Care to explain the day-to-day role of the job to make sure it is suitable for them.
Hazel explained: "The caring profession can be quite demanding but it is also an extremely rewarding job. Unfortunately it is predominately seen as a female occupation so part of our recruitment process is to try and encourage more men to join the industry. So far five men have completed the course and have successfully found employment.
Councillor Eddie McAtominey, Lead Member for Corporate Development, added: "This the first time we have worked with the community care sector and we are extremely pleased with the results. I am certainly looking forward to seeing lots of carers in the near future."
Action Station will be running the course again in the near future and anyone who is unemployed and interested in a place can ring Hazel McCallion on 4558122 for further information.