Support workers play an invaluable role in the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism, yet recruitment and retention across social care is currently under so much pressure.
Many employers are exploring innovative and successful approaches to social care career development. Here at Dimensions, we wanted to compare notes with other organisations about how we can encourage great people into social care, nurture amazing career journeys once there and make a difference to the people they support.
This is why we developed the Aspire programme, which more than 450 Dimensions colleagues have undertaken. Participants, gain professional qualifications, develop leadership skills and boost self-confidence. In fact, this programme is so successful in offering opportunities for career progression that 80% of Aspire participants are promoted following their participation.
Three Dimensions colleagues share their experiences on how the programme helped shape their careers.
Zoe says when she was initially nominated for Dimensions’ Aspire programme, she felt very concerned as she wasn’t really sure what it was about and felt worried it meant she was bad at her job.
"However, by the third coaching session, everything fell into place and I understood that this was an opportunity to find more purpose at work," she says. "Aspire has been transformative for me on both a professional and personal level as it has offered me the chance to truly find my purpose in life.”
Dani says when she began the Aspire programme she was working as a Helpdesk Coordinator but knew that she wanted to push her career further.
"After expressing this to my manager, I was delighted to be put forward for the Aspire programme," she says. "The fact that Dimensions was willing to invest so much in my career and personal development made me feel as though I was truly valued.”
Caroline joined Dimensions with a business background. Two years ago, her manager nominated her for the Aspire programme.
“For me, the one-on-one sessions were invaluable as having someone come from the outside gave me the clarity necessary to focus on my development," she says.
To read their full stories on how the programme shaped their careers, take a look at our article on Learning Disability Today.