The link between employment and health has always been at the heart of Gateway’s work. Gateway was originally set up to help people into training or employment – and so to better health and wellbeing. This “gateway” into employment is what gave our organisation its name.
Since we started nine years ago, we’ve helped countless people overcome barriers to employment by providing volunteering opportunities, trainee placements and apprenticeships.
Over the years we’ve also developed and successfully delivered numerous courses in subjects for which we have seen a demand; subjects like Employability, Personal Development, and Health and Social Care, as well as our highly successful Community Interpreting course.
More recently, because of the increased demand for training that we’ve seen, we’ve begun to offer a wider range of courses in health and care related fields.
Developing relevant courses
For Gateway, providing training courses isn’t just a matter of picking suitable-looking course titles from accrediting bodies. We are constantly researching and developing our course provision based on current and projected demand. We do this by staying abreast of healthcare trends, talking to service providers, and looking in detail at health profile information, in particular from Birmingham and the wider Midlands region.
As an example: we know that the UK’s population is ageing and, as a consequence, there is more demand for information on Dementia. So we are now accredited to offer the City and Guilds Dementia qualifications, as well as the new RSPH Level 2 Awareness in Dementia. Both are recognised qualifications and appear on the QCA Framework. Interest in these qualifications doesn’t just come from people working within the healthcare industry; it also comes from family members and people working in all sorts of public-facing roles.
Health profiles for an area help us to identify immediate issues within a region, and to predict future workforce needs within those geographical areas. For instance, we can see that the West Midlands has higher rate of hospital stays for alcohol related harm, so one of the courses we are particularly recommending to organisations is the RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Alcohol Misuse.
Tailoring course content
When we deliver a course to an organisation, we work closely with them to tailor the course to the needs of their workforce. We ask for job descriptions so that we can determine the main tasks involved, and to get a feel for what the course participants do on a daily basis. Then we can see which parts of the course will be directly applicable to the role and, where possible, provide additional specialist information, based on our own knowledge and extensive local networks.
Adam Farrell is the Volunteer Development Manager at the Refugee and Migrant Centre in Wolverhampton, where we recently delivered a Level 1 Award in Health Awareness course. He says, “the course was delivered to our volunteer Health Champions who will be based in their communities spreading public health messages to their friends, neighbours and local residents. The Level 1 Award in Health Awareness has enabled our Health Champions to have a better understanding of the services available locally as well as a much more detailed knowledge on how lifestyle choices affect long term health.”
He continued, “Gateway Family Services provided a first class service at very short notice. Nothing was too much trouble for them and the course they delivered was to the highest standards. Our volunteers gained so much from the one day course and are still talking about it now! I would recommend Gateway to any organisation looking for reasonably priced, well prepared and well delivered training around health.”
For more information on any of the courses we offer, or for a chat about how we could help your organisation to provide specialist training, tailored for your workforce, call 0121 456 7820 and ask for Michelle Smitten, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.