Category: Recruitment

Recruiting, training and supporting local people. Giving opportunities to people and skills to communities and providing long term workforce.

Health-related courses, tailored to your workforce needs

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.

Gateway's Volunteer Befrienders recently completed their Employability and Personal Development Level 1 training
Gateway’s Volunteer Befrienders recently completed their Employability and Personal Development Level 1 training

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.

You can see a list of courses that we offer here.

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 michelles@gatewayfs.org.

POWS welcome a new team member

At the start of this year, the Pregnancy Outreach Workers Service (POWS) welcomed a new member of the team on board.Chris

We don’t usually introduce new members of staff on our blog, but we thought it would be interesting to feature Chris, as this is the first time in more than three years that we’ve had a male Pregnancy Outreach Worker.

It might sound surprising, but it’s important to remember that our POWs are support workers first and foremost.

On a day-to-day basis, POWs provide advice on housing, budgeting, or the benefits system; ensure women attend appointments with hospitals, clinics or jobcentres; or help families to fill in forms, write letters, or make phonecalls.

It’s not a clinical or medical role; POWs work on a one-to-one basis with each family, providing emotional and practical support that’s tailored for their needs. Often, the fact that a woman is pregnant is really only secondary compared to the other social, practical or emotional issues she’s dealing with.

As we’ve said before, we can’t be experts in everything, however adaptable we are, but if we don’t know the answer, we are experts in finding someone who does. We have extensive networks and know what help is available and how to access it. The POWs aren’t there to do everything for the family but, instead, to support them as they engage with specialist services themselves, and to help them get to a point where they can continue independently.

And this is one of the many reasons we feel that Chris will make a great POW. As well as a strong academic background in psychology, he has a background of working in a very practical way with vulnerable people and families. And so he already has some knowledge of the systems, processes, networks and agencies that he will be supporting people to access.

He’s been here for less than a month, but Chris already has a small caseload of clients. Much of his first month at Gateway has been spent researching the UK’s immigration system, as two of the women he’s supporting are asylum seekers, so he’s already jumped in with both feet!

We spoke to Chris to find out a bit more about how he became interested in the POW service and how he’s been getting on so far.

Two Ticks: positive about people with disabilities

Gateway Family Services has recently applied for, and been accepted to, the Jobcentre Plus “Two Ticks – Positive About People with Disabilities” scheme.

Two TicksIt means we have made a public commitment to being positive about employing disabled people, and shows our existing employees that we value their contribution and will treat them fairly if they become disabled.

It also means that you’ll be seeing the Two Ticks symbol a lot more from now on – on our stationery, our website, our newsletter and any job or volunteer adverts!

Why employ people with disabilities?

Nearly seven million people of working age are disabled or have a long term health condition. Historically there has been a significant gap between the proportion of people with disabilities employed compared to non-disabled people. This is despite it being against the law to treat a person less favourably than someone else because they have a disability – whether that’s at recruitment, in relation to pay or conditions, or when selecting for redundancy.

Gateway would like to encourage and support applications for jobs from people with disabilities, to create a workforce that reflects the diverse range of people that we serve.

We’d also like to be able to retain, or support into alternative employment, any of our current employees who become disabled whilst working for us.

Our commitment

In order to achieve the Two Ticks, we have made formal commitments to the following five areas:

  1. To interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum requirement of the job and to consider them on their abilities. This is now included in our Shortlisting and Recruitment Policies.
  2. To discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what we can do to make sure they can develop and use their abilities. This should be included in their one to ones and appraisals.
  3. To make every effort, should an employee become disabled, to make sure they stay in employment.
  4. To take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness to make these commitments work. This is now included in our mandatory equality training.
  5. To review these commitments every year, to assess what has been achieved and plan ways to improve on them – and to let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans. This will be included in our Annual Business Plan from now on.

As an organisation we have always aimed to be positive about everyone’s abilities, and – as we talked about to some extent in last week’s blog post, Fair doesn’t mean equal – to make sure that everyone is able to participate fully. By applying for – and achieving – the Two Ticks, we’re happy to say we have simply formalised many of the things we already do.

Community Interpreter Vacancy

Gateway Family Services CIC is the leading provider of training and employment to the health and social care sector. Our aim is to reduce inequalities in learning, employment and health.

 

Position Title:                Community Interpreter

Salary:                           £20 per hour (face to face interpreting) Separate rates for telephone and translation

Hours per week:            Casual

Job Reference:              GW161

 

As a Community Interpreter (Public Sector Interpreter) you will work in the context of public services, such as health services and local government related services which include: health, housing, education, welfare and social services.

The role will involve completing a Level 2 qualification with CERTA – Community Interpreting. No prior qualifications are needed for this role, however a willingness to learn, and a good ability to accurately translate & communicate meaning from one language to another in a way that is easily understood by the listener is required.

 So, if you speak one of the following languages: – Farsi, Vietnamese, Amharic, Miripuri, Mandarin, Somali, Tigrinian, Portuguese, Romanian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Czech Dari, Eritrean, Gujarati, Hungarian, Kurdish, Slovak, Spanish and are interested in promoting equality of opportunity and access to services to those who experience language barriers, please email recruitment@gatewayfs.org for an application pack, quoting the reference number GW161, telephone Michelle Bluck or Sajida Mawji on 0121 456 7820 or visit our website.

Interpreting Job Description and Person Specification

Closing date for applications is 12pm, Friday 24th October 2014.

 

 

Statement on “Help To Work”

As you know from our post last week, On the first rung of the ladder, we have recently taken on two trainees via the Help to Work scheme.

Gateway is committed to getting long term unemployed people into work and to do this we look at a number of approaches including apprenticeships and traineeships (including the recent Training To Care scheme). We regularly respond to requests to take on people on work experience, as we have the ability to provide a positive and useful introduction to work. We provide a variety of services, so we feel there’s a lot of scope for the people who come to gain a range of experience.

Help To Work is just one of the things we have looked at as part of our EAST (Employment Access, Skills and Training) department’s wider work.

We are aware that Help to Work has a negative image and that not all employers view trainees in the same way that we do. We decided to explore it anyway, because our experience means that we can give people on work placements the best possible opportunity under the circumstances.

We would like to stress that the people supplied to us on placement are additional to our workforce; they do not fill an existing role. What we do is to create roles and tasks for them, hoping that it will give them the broadest possible opportunity to learn new skills and find out what sort of things suit them. Furthermore, we do not do this for any sort of financial gain. In fact, there is a small financial cost to us, as people need supervision and training.

As the previous post mentioned, we’re very pleased that our original placements, Nikki and Keiran are now in a paid apprenticeship with Gateway.

As an organisation we pride ourselves on having strong ethics. We can understand people’s distrust of the Help To Work scheme. We shared it, to an extent, but feel that our track record of helping people into work over many years means that we can provide people with a positive and supportive environment. However, we will be reviewing our involvement and, as always, considering the views of our staff and clients, including our current trainees, very carefully.

Trainee HR and Finance Assistant (for unemployed blind or partially sighted person)

Gateway Family Services CIC is the leading provider of training and employment to the health and social care sector. Our aim is to reduce inequalities in learning, employment and health. Gateway Family Services in partnership with RNIB’s “Extending the Reach” project are seeking a:

 

Trainee HR and Finance Support Assistant GW160

 To provide administrative support to the HR Officer and HR and Finance Administrator

 21 Hours per week (to be arranged)

 £7.65 per hour

 Contract for 50 weeks

The post will include opportunities to gain experience and skills in a range of administrative functions including HR and Finance. Candidates should have or be working to attain the NVQ 2 or equivalent in Business Administration, with experience of working in an administrative capacity and excellent IT and organisational skills. Candidates should demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate in writing or verbally. Candidates should have a commitment to personal development and be able to work flexibly.

This post is part of RNIB’s ‘Extending the Reach’ Project (EtR) part funded by the Big Lottery Fund. EtR provides valuable paid work experience to unemployed blind and partially sighted people and assists them in looking for permanent employment. With EtR, trainees are employed by partner organisations and Gateway Family Services is pleased to be partnering with RNIB to offer this post.

 

To be eligible to apply, you need to be unemployed and either blind or partially sighted.

 

Trainees will need to show a willingness to commit to further training dependent on individual need up to a maximum of one day a week. The position is a fixed term contract of 50 weeks (however opportunities to secure a post within the organisation can be explored)

 

 Closing date is 5.00pm on Monday 21st July 2014

 Interviews will be held on Monday 4th August 2014

 

Trainee HR and Finance Support Assistan JD & PS

Please email recruitment@gatewayfs.org for an application pack, quoting the reference number GW160, telephone Marisol Daley or Carol Gatehouse on 0121 456 7820.

 

Lighten Up Administrator

 

Gateway Family Services CIC is the leading provider of training and employment to the health and social care sector. Our aim is to reduce inequalities in learning, employment and health.

 

Position Title:                        Lighten Up Administrator

Salary:                                    16,200 per annum

Hours per week:                   A range of working hours will be considered

 

The role will involve providing administrative support to the Lighten Up programme including handling a large volume of incoming and outgoing calls and maintaining/updating of database systems.  Applicants must have administrative experience and a working knowledge of Microsoft Office. Experience of working within a call centre environment would be advantageous.

 

Applicants for this post must be willing to work flexible hours around the needs of the service, this may include evenings and weekends.

 

Please email Marisol Daley at recruitment@gatewayfs.org for an application pack, quoting the reference number GW159, or telephone on 0121 456 7820.

 Lighten Up JD and PS

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 30th May 2014.

Youth employment opportunities: introducing ‘Making Health Work’

This week, we have been recruiting volunteer Health Ambassadors for our new Big Lottery-funded programme, Making Health Work.

Healthy-Conversations-logoWe’re launching the project in partnership with the Foyer Federation; the idea comes from Foyer’s Healthy Conversations programme, which aims to give young people the understanding, opportunities and networks to improve the health and wellbeing of themselves, their peers and their communities.

With Making Health Work, we aim to help young people to have Healthy Conversations with a focus on work and employment.

Health and work go hand in hand

The programme aims to get young people thinking about the ways in which work impacts on health … and health impacts on work. Our new Health Ambassadors will create conversations to address the health and lifestyle issues that sometimes create barriers for young jobseekers.

Eating healthily, doing physical activity and taking care of your mental health will all give you a good grounding in preparation for employment. But there are deeper and broader issues around health and wellbeing that can affect your working life too. Things like having friends who are a positive influence, having a good social circle to provide some support, even just knowing how to access services, and having access to good food at a reasonable cost, can all affect your health and have a positive impact upon your ability to work.

In turn, work can be good for your health. It gives you a reason to leave the house each day and stay active. It helps you develop the sleeping and eating routines that your body needs. It helps you to meet people and widen your social circle.

In short, we believe that facilitating Healthy Conversations between young people can give them the skills and background to sustain employment.

Could you, or someone you know, be a Health Ambassador?

Danny Fryer, Talent Agent for Making Health Work, said “we’re looking for Health Ambassadors aged between 18 and 25 to come and work with us in these volunteer roles. The Health Ambassadors will help us to deliver the programme through one-to-one coaching sessions with other young people and conversation groups, as well as activities like Health Taster Days and Social Action Projects”.

Volunteers will be given specialist training for the Making Health Work project as well as having access to the same training and ongoing support that all Gateway volunteers receive.

The specialised training includes two days working with Youth At Risk, full training on the Healthy Conversations resource pack, and training from the Mental Health Foundation. Volunteers will learn coaching techniques and find out how to lead discussions around mental and physical health.

On Wednesday, a group of potential volunteers came to our first recruitment session and held their own conversation group. The Ambassadors will be setting goals for others, so the session provided some practical demonstrations of the sort of work they could be doing. If you think you might be interested in coming along to the next one, give us a ring on 0121 456 7820 and ask about Health Ambassadors.

Pathways to employment

Skills-EscalatorMaking Health Work is a really good addition to our Skills Escalator (right; click for full size). Once the Health Ambassadors are trained, they can go on to take up other volunteering opportunities with Gateway, such as Befriending, or supporting Pop Up Talent. And, of course, as with our other volunteer programmes, they will have the opportunity to move up and become apprentices and paraprofessionals.

The links between employment and physical and mental health are clear to us (after all, health and employment are what we do!) so we are really pleased to be leading a programme that provides pathways to employment in this way – especially one that works with younger people.

logos

Training To Care: saving the NHS money with local employment

Our Training To Care programme, which we launched in October in partnership with Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust, is continuing to provide benefits for everyone involved.

The aim of the course is to offer people the qualifications and experience they need in order to apply for NHS jobs – and to offer employers a pool of cost-effective, skilled, reliable staff.

Trainees are happy

The benefits to trainees are pretty straightforward. They’re offered the chance to get work experience in a caring role and train for a Level 2 City & Guilds Diploma in Health and Social Care, together with bespoke NHS training. Importantly, though, they earn a wage for the duration of the course. Gaining qualifications usually means a financial cost to the trainee, so this – unfortunately for the thousands of unqualified, unemployed people who would love a career in care – is a rare opportunity.

Around two thirds of our trainees were previously unemployed; some of them long term. Some had come from our volunteer programmes, working their way up the Skills Escalator. Most had some previous caring experience, but it wasn’t in a paid capacity, so it often didn’t count when it came to job applications and formal interviews. We counted it.

We believe that this combination of work experience, qualifications and payment gives the trainees everything they need to move forward and get a career in healthcare.

But there are many vital benefits to Birmingham Community Healthcare, and wider employers, as well.

Employers are happy too

Our aim is to provide healthcare employers with a valuable resource of reliable, enthusiastic, hard working and, ultimately, qualified staff who will save them money.

The pre-employment training that Gateway and the Healthcare trust offers is specially tailored to the roles offered – so this, in addition to the previous experience of caring for family that many trainees have, enables them to hit the ground running when they arrive on site. Several supervisors of the bedded units who have offered placements to Gateway trainees have mentioned that the ability to “mould” trainees into a role has been useful.

Clare Gadd, Clinical Team Leader at The Sheldon Unit, says “it makes a real difference to have two more members of the team who were able to join us and get up and running quickly, and of course, it has the added financial benefit of removing the cost burden of using agency staff.”

Gateway’s specialist support also helps to give a smooth transition for the long-term unemployed people who are returning to work. This extra support and employability training means that the retention rate – in an industry that has a traditionally high turnover – is much better (80% in this programme to date). The process also means that employers have additional administrative help, as Gateway managers are on hand to provide extra support to trainees during their placement.

Trainees’ stories

Trainees Roza, Charlotte and Judith are working at Moseley Hall Hospital, a specialist stroke and brain injury rehabilitation centre.

Roza

Roza had been working in hospitality and came to Gateway some time ago to work as an interpreter before applying for the Training To Care programme. Although she didn’t have formal care experience, she has cared for her sister, who has Down’s Syndrome.

Roza says: “I was very happy with the support and training that Gateway offered me as an interpreter, so when I saw the opportunity to move into care work with the same level of support, I jumped at the chance.

“The work is very rewarding. It’s nice when you go onto the ward and people are pleased to see you. Watching people recover and helping them learn to walk again is really satisfying. Every day I feel better and get more confident about work.”

Charlotte

Roza, Charlotte and Judith
Trainees (L-R: Roza, Charlotte and Judith)
Charlotte had done a few different jobs – in hotels, bars, shops and warehouses – but always wanted a career in care. Her mum is ill so she has some informal experience, but it never seemed to be enough to get a foot in the door. She said, “I’d been trying for years to get into care work, but you can’t just walk into it. Even if an advert says ‘no experience required’, you’ll lose out if someone with any experience at all applies. Some jobs even require payment up front for checks before you can start. It’s not easy.

“In the past I’ve done lots of jobs but working in a caring role like this just feels really natural to me. The supervisors give me lots of praise, which is really encouraging. I’m getting loads of experience and learning something new every day.”

Charlotte’s supervisor, Annmarie Rumble, says: “Charlotte was quite quiet at the start but it feels like she’s really blossomed. She’s grown in confidence and is now able to work under her own steam. She’s really good with the patients; she has a caring and calm nature which is just what they need. She’s particularly good at calming them if they get upset.

“Sometimes when younger people come to us to start work they can be a bit unprepared for the sorts of tasks they may have to do. Charlotte was prepared prior to starting placement and adapted very quickly to what she was expected to do. She is a highly valued member of the team.”

Judith

Judith started with Gateway as a volunteer befriender. “I like to help people, which is why I was a befriender, and later an interpreter, with Gateway. I really enjoy this work. I’m not always comfortable with new people but here we see new people every day, so it’s given me a lot more confidence. As trainees, we are paired with a nurse, but I’m finding that I can do more and more on my own.

“It’s not so much the medical side of the job that appeals to me; it’s everything around it. My mum and dad passed away in hospital and I wasn’t able to be with them, so I see this as paying something back. If I can be there for someone who doesn’t have anyone and who’d otherwise be isolated – if I can have a chat with them, and cheer them up – then I know that I have done a good job.”

Departmental Manager (Health and Wellbeing services)

Gateway Family Services CIC is the leading provider of training and employment to the health and social care sector. Our aim is to reduce inequalities in learning, employment and health.

 

Position Title:                        Departmental Manager (Health and Wellbeing) GW158

Salary:                                    £34,000

Hours per week:                   Full Time – 37 hours

 

To be responsible for the effective delivery of new and existing Health and Wellbeing contracts, incorporating both people and project management.

 

The post holder will be expected to manage a range of existing contracts ensuring that all outcomes and targets are achieved and at the same time be responsible for developing and implementing new services.  As a member of SMT there will also be an emphasis on aligning service delivery and new developments with organisational aims and ethos.

 

This is a challenging role that will include management of managers, each responsible for service delivery.  There will be a need to combine a clear and results focused approach with the necessary innovation and support.

 

 

Please email recruitment@gatewayfs.org for an application pack, quoting the job reference number GW158, or telephone 0121 456 7820.

 

Closing date for applications is Monday 19th May 2014 at 5pm

 

Interviews will take place on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th June 2014

 

Job description Departmental Manager (Health and Wellbeing)