Earn and learn: Home care company launches Open University funding for employees and their children

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Caremark, a leading home care provider, has announced an inspiring new recruitment initiative – funding an Open University undergraduate degree for care assistant employees or their children.

Caremark Pulborough, West Sussex, is the first Caremark office to trial the initiative, unveiling the promotion in October 2023.

This collaboration with the Open University was launched as a new way to tackle the slow recruitment issues the home care sector faces post-Brexit and the pandemic. It means that the franchise’s full-time staff perks now include up to £9,000 of funding for any undergraduate degree for a dependent child. Part-time workers are also eligible and can benefit from paid course fees of up to £6,000 for their child on a part-time course.

When it comes to affording higher education, various grants and bursaries are available for low-income households. However, this leaves the wage earners above these thresholds in a difficult situation as expensive course fees result in some having no choice but to make substantial sacrifices. Therefore, the launch of Caremark’s Open University funding programme aims to lessen the financial burden placed upon many of its employees and keep existing staff fulfilled in their roles.

Research has shown for years now that parents are cutting back on things such as holidays and home improvements, whilst others are taking on second jobs to cover education costs for their child1. On top of this, the cost-of-living crisis is impacting students who make it past enrolment, with the Office for National Statistics reporting that 50% of students felt they had financial difficulties2.

Caremark’s offer to cover some of the university’s fees might seem too good to be true as the prospects of a university education show graduates are likely to earn 20% more over their working life in comparison to those who did not go to university3, but this enticing incentive is simply part of the franchise’s attempt to retain and its valued staff.

Lisa Fyfe, joint CEO of Caremark, comments:

“At Caremark, we recognise the vital role our care assistants play in the day-to-day running of our home care business. We hope this new funding programme will not only incentivise people to join the home care industry, but also provide learning opportunities for our employees, or a dependant child, who may not have previously been able to access this level of education due to the cost.

“The Open University funding is in addition to the NVQ or Diploma in Health and Social Care training that Caremark has always offered staff. With opportunities for professional development and career progression, employee morale is prioritised, enabling the community teams to deliver the best possible care to our clients.

“We have chosen to partner with Open University because of the exceptional level of teaching and support available for students. Being the largest provider of part-time education in England, we felt they were the perfect fit to help us recruit people who want to earn whilst studying, even if they eventually opt for a career in a different sector. The important thing to Caremark is to find and appoint the right people for our care assistant roles.

“If proven successful at our Pulborough office, the Open University funding offer will be rolled out to more franchises across the UK.”

To qualify for the Open University funding, Caremark is inviting compassionate, energetic, and self-motivated individuals to join their team as Care Assistants in Pulborough, West Sussex.

Full training for this rewarding role is provided, and you can apply for the position on the Caremark website.

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