A leading Scottish care provider has today (25th November) launched a revolutionary scheme giving care experienced young people and armed forces veterans the opportunity to work in the care sector.
LOVE@care, part of Hamilton-based social business the LOVE group has launched its innovative Vocational Care Pathway, giving care experienced young people and veterans across Scotland the chance to work in the care sector.
This scheme explores a way to tackle the high demand for care workers in Scotland whilst supporting young people who either in or leaving care into employment.
With people living longer, and an expansion in early learning and childcare, there is a higher demand for people to work in care in order to tackle the sector’s current understaffing crisis.
Currently, the number of vacancies in the care sector is growing, with the latest data from the Care Inspectorate indicating that 38 per cent of services reported having vacancies, up 2 per cent on the previous year. In addition, 45 per cent of services with vacancies reporting problems filling them.
This problem is set to be exacerbated by Brexit which could lead to lower levels of immigration to Scotland. EU nationals account for 5.6 per cent of staff in the care sector currently, with 42 per cent of care services recruitment overseas coming from the EU.
The scheme also brings considerable benefit to those who are care experienced. Nine months after leaving school, 31 per cent of care experienced young people who were in care for part of the year are not in a positive destination such as further/higher education, employment or training, compared to 7 per cent of their non-care experienced peers. 
When it comes to veterans, in a study more than 26 per cent of veterans living in Scotland said they had found the process of finding the right job very difficult.
Aiming to confront this care crisis on one front whilst tackling the challenges care experienced young people and veterans still face on the other, LOVE@care is launching this programme aiming to facilitate employment in the care sector.
Through the Vocational Care Pathway, participants will enter an SQA accredited education programme and then begin a Modern Apprenticeship which will evolve into guaranteed employment within LOVE@care and affiliate organisations, with opportunities for promotion and career growth.
Since LOVE is a social business, the programme is funded by existing contracts and other corporate services the company offers, translating into no cost for young people looking to get involved.
Lynn Bell, CEO of the LOVE group, said:
“We are operating in a sector with a major disparity between number of care workers and the demand for those services. At the same time, we provide support to care experienced young people and veterans through other programmes we organise.
“Marrying up care experienced young adults and veterans with employment opportunities within the care sector therefore just seemed a natural thing to do and is a ‘win-win’ for both parties.
the Vocational Care Pathway we provide education and
training, allowing these individuals to gain the qualifications to move through
the ranks of the care sector and help establish this as their career of
-  The Care Inspectorate, Staff vacancies in care services, 15th January 2019. Available at: https://www.careinspectorate.com/index.php/low-graphics/8-news/4767-staff-vacancies-in-care-services-2017 (accessed 20th November 2019).
-  Scottish Government, EU workers in Scotland’s social care workforce: contribution assessment, 9th July 2018. Available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/contribution-non-uk-eu-workers-social-care-workforce-scotland/ (accessed 20th November 2019).
-  Scottish Government, Education outcomes for looked after children 2017-2018, 18th June 2019. Available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/education-outcomes-looked-children-2017-18/pages/4/(accessed 20th November 2019).
-  Deloitte, Veterans Work: Moving On, 2018. Available at: https://www.fim-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/20181129-Final-report.pdf (accessed 21st November 2019).