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Free e-learning programme boosts confidence amongst unpaid carers

21 May 2020
  • Carers UK launches free tool to help validate skills gained through caring
  • Learning for Living supports carers to re-enter work or review their current job
  • Digital badge recognised by employers as part of professional development
  • Welsh Government funds Learning for Living bilingual programme to ensure carers in Wales benefit from the resource.

Charity Carers UK has launched its latest bilingual digital innovation for unpaid carers in Wales, in a drive to recognise their valuable skills and experience. 

The interactive e-learning programme, Learning for Living, helps carers develop greater understanding of the unique skills and knowledge they apply on a day-to-day basis in their caring role, and how they can transfer these skills to the workplace.

Previous research by the charity shows 1in 7 people in Wales have given up their job to care unpaid for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.

The aim of the e-learning programme is to boost confidence amongst unpaid carers, who regularly carry out complex tasks, manage finances and communicate in a range of situations, but often underestimate the value of these skills when job searching or looking at changing roles.

Based on a programme developed in partnership with City & Guilds, Carers UK developed this edition with the insight of carers who fed back on the content and outcomes of the learning. The Welsh Government has funded Welsh translation of this free online resource and from today it is being made available to unpaid carers across Wales.

Claire Morgan, Wales Director of Carers UK said:

“Whatever your responsibilities as a carer, looking after someone requires a unique skill set, which is too often underestimated when compared with skills gained through training or employment.

“Many carers have to change their working hours or even give up work to care so looking for a new job can be daunting. We hope Learning for Living will help carers recognise their expertise and use it to review their job role, return to work or take up new opportunities.

“We know returning to work benefits carers but it also helps employers who are increasingly struggling with skills gaps. Our programmes supporting carers going back to work have been effective, so we were delighted to receive funding from Welsh Government to fund Learning for Living being translated in to Welsh. It demonstrates Welsh Government’s commitment to acknowledge how important it is that unpaid carers are supported to have a life outside caring.”

To mark the launch of the bilingual digital resource, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan AM said:

“I know that across Wales there are 370,000 carers of all ages, including children, who support a loved one who may be older, disabled or seriously ill, without being paid to do so.  Carers contribute hugely to Welsh society by providing 96 percent of all care, worth around £8.1 billion to the Welsh economy each year.   

Since 2017 our three national priorities for carers have driven forward our work in government.  These priorities include “supporting life alongside caring”, because all carers deserve to be recognised and supported in their caring role.

Many carers have a wide range of different experiences, skills and knowledge gathered in their caring role, which is why I am so pleased that we have funded Carers Wales - £35,000 – to develop the translation and adaptation of this Carers UK online learning programme, for use by carers here in Wales.  Learning for Living, which will help a carer to show their skills to a current or future employer. 

I want the skills and experience that our carers possess to be understood by others and their achievements recognised – because our carers here in Wales are valued”.

Over the course of five interactive modules, carers explore the specific techniques they use to learn and communicate, as well as ways to develop assertiveness and confidence. The programme takes approximately two hours to complete.

Carers completing Learning for Living receive a digital badge that they can use to document their learning and shape their career development and employers can recognise as part of professional development.

Feedback from unpaid carers:

 “I think going through this process would definitely make carers feel good about the skills and abilities they have acquired during their caring ‘careers’. One of the biggest challenges is convincing others that while you have been caring for say 10 years, you have been developing and exercising skills during this period. Learning for Living is thorough, useful and fun.”

 “Using real life examples made the programme very relatable and applicable to me in my caring role. I liked how I could save my progress, take a break and complete the programme in my own time. I appreciated the use of theory and how I could apply this in practice to my learning. The Envision Your Future module actually made me stop for a moment to think about what I want for my future.”

Click here to access Learning for Living in English and Click here to access Learning for Living in Welsh

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