A local Ayrshire care worker is urging other people in the area to consider a career in child and youth care.

Amanda Harvey, from Ayr, works for specialist child and youth care charity Kibble. 

In a bid to combat the challenges faced by the care sector around recruitment and retention, Kibble has announced a package of financial and training support to people actively seeking a career in care.

Kibble, which provides specialist services for young people (aged 5-26) facing adversity or who have experienced trauma, is aiming to recruit and train a record number of 40 new Child and Youth Care Workers (CYCW) this autumn as part of its Career Start training programme.

The initiative is nominated for Best Apprenticeship Programme in the Investors in People awards that will be announced in November.

All recruits at Kibble are provided with extensive support, including training and mentoring from an experienced in-house team for one year, while earning a salary.

Amanda embarked on the Career Start programme in 2022 after a 25-year career in retail.

Amanda said: “I loved my career, but I got to a point where it wasn’t rewarding for me any longer - I wanted to find a job that would make a tangible difference to someone and their outcomes.

“I hadn’t considered a career in care previously, mainly because I didn’t think I had the right qualifications or the right experience.

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"However, I was so pleasantly surprised to find that Kibble recruits on experience and attitude as they provide the training and qualifications required. I was delighted; a career I thought would have been out of my reach started looking more and more like a reality.

“I love that within the trainee programme you start with a group of like-minded people who are all going through the same process, all learning together and embarking on a new career at the same time.

"There’s comfort in knowing we’re all learning together.

“To anyone considering a career in care I’d say make the change and go for it. I can’t even begin to express how rewarding it is.

"Young people and children across Scotland need support, they need people who are empathetic, understanding and respectful to guide them through tough times and celebrate the good times – child and youth care workers provide that support.

“It’s hard work but it’s so worth it and the more you put into a role like this, the more you get back. The young people make it so worthwhile and when you can see the benefit you are making to the life of a young person, there’s no feeling quite like it.”

Those who complete the 12-month training will be guaranteed an interview for a role with a salary over £27,000 per year and have further career development opportunities.

Candidates who join and complete the course will achieve an HNC in Social Services with the chance to go on to become a child and youth care worker (CYCW) at Kibble.

For further information on the programme or to apply for the next cohort visit https://kibblecharity.org/career-start.

Applications close on Thursday, October 26.