Partnership between college and care company in Lowestoft opens new avenue for students
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A new partnership between a college and care provider has laid the foundation for a fresh breed of carers in the region.
East Coast College's Lowestoft campus has teamed up with Kingsley Heathcare to establish a new course - the Kingsley Care Academy - fusing classroom learning with practical work experience.
The course's eager first cohort began their year-long adventure this week, as the programme was launched at the care firm's headquarters at Kingsley House in Lowestoft.
The 12 students, all from Lowestoft and the surrounding area, were presented with their own laptop as part of being accepted onto the course, and will soon be given their own academy branded polo shirts.
Along with their place on the course, they will also receive a £250 bonus, a further £250 on completion, and a guaranteed job at one of Kingsley's care homes.
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Daniel Blaza, 16 of Lowestoft, said: 'I am really keep to do a job where I can make a difference to people's lives - my mother is a part-time carer.'
Jasmine Bourke, 16 of Lowestoft, whose mother also has a care background said: 'This will give me valuable experience of working with people with different disabilities and illnesses.'
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Katie Meadows, 18 of Carlton Colville said: 'I am going down the care line following my mum, who works in mental health. The academy will give me valuable experience.'
Amber Spearing, a lecturer in health and social care at the college said: 'This course is an amazing opportunity for these 12 students - it will help them breed confidence and allow them to develop crucial skills in the workplace, as well as learning in the classroom.'
Bev Lambert, recruitment manager for Kingsley, said: 'The new students are trailblazers for this scheme. If it successful, we will be looking to roll it out to other areas across the country, including the north west.
'They will be ambassadors for the Kingsley Care Academy.'
In the lead up to the launch, a number of potential students were interviewed, before the final dozen were chosen.
Kingsley operations manager Helen Gosling said: 'I was amazed by the passion of these youngsters during the interviews. If they carry that through this will be a wonderful opportunity for them.'