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Posted 15 May 2022

Housing 21 has launched the care industry’s first Extra Care Academy to support Care Workers into management roles with the potential to earn £50k+ salaries. 

The launch comes at a crucial time in the care sector - last year approximately 42,000 Care Workers left their roles between June and December. The exodus has in part been driven by persistent myths surrounding the lack of career progression in care.

Housing 21, which manages over 20,000 Extra Care and Retirement Living developments across England, will provide a cohort of Care Workers with the training, qualifications and leadership skills to progress to management level.

The two-year funded programme will offer the leading Extra Care and Retirement Living provider’s top performing Care Workers the opportunity to progress to senior management level, with a mix of theoretical and practical training from industry experts to provide candidates with the necessary skills.

The course, which aims to tackle misconceptions that there are no clearly defined career paths in care, will enable workers to progress to management roles - such as Assistant Care or Housing Manager, Scheme Manager and even Regional Manager - while also including a Level 3 Health & Social Care qualification.

Each successful applicant will spend time working at one of Housing 21's Centres of Excellence, the housing provider's most consistently high performing scheme, and will continue earning a full-time salary during the training programme.    

Kris Peach, Executive Director Extra Care at Housing 21 said: "This is a real industry-first training academy for Care Workers, offering a clear route to management level for the next generation of promising care professionals.

“For too long the industry has forced Care Workers to choose between a job they love and the career they deserve. At Housing 21, we want to eliminate that dilemma by giving people the chance to pursue a successful career in the care sector.

"We wanted to redefine careers in care by providing both hands-on experience and classroom training towards a qualification. Our first cohort will be invited to an assessment centre to evaluate their skills before the Extra Care Academy begins in September.

"The training will include coaching for confidence and leadership skills to help with managing a team, as well as report writing and interview techniques. Candidates will learn from experts in the sector - both from within Housing 21 and externally - offering skills and advice.

"Applicants will be able to tailor the course to their career aspirations, whether they want to become a Care Manager, Housing Manager, Scheme Manager or even a Regional Manager."

Jamie Lindon-Lewis, Head of Quality Assurance and Commissioning at Housing 21, started his career as a Care Worker at 18. He has since worked his way up to Care Manager level and now works within the Operations Team managing Housing 21's care quality.

He said: "The Extra Care Academy creates a development pipeline by investing in the sector's top talent and the care leaders of the future, as well as challenging the misconceptions that successful careers in care do not exist.

"At the end of two years at the academy, those that pass can apply for job roles at management level and use the skills they will have acquired throughout the programme.

“We have always valued our Care Workers and recognise the important role they play in improving the lives of our residents. They are at the very heart of our organisation and we have always encouraged opportunities to progress.”

Alongside the Extra Care Academy, Housing 21 has launched the ’21 Talks’ podcast, which explores a variety of topics on the housing and care sector featuring the voices of residents, employees and industry experts, with an episode on the Extra Care Academy that can be listened to here.

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