Work and Skills Skills for Growth

Skills for Growth leads to an NHS dream job for Manchester housekeeper

A housekeeper landed his dream job in the NHS as a health care assistant thanks to a fully funded Skills for Growth programme designed to open up new opportunities to workers across Greater Manchester.

Libin Thomas, 33, moved to Manchester from the United Arab Emirates a year and a half ago to be with his family, but struggled to find work even though he was a qualified accountant in the UAE.

He eventually found work at a petrol station before taking up a housekeeping role for a private care home in Middleton. But after completing fully funded training courses through Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Skills for Growth programme, he secured a job as a health care assistant at North Manchester General Hospital.

The Skills for Growth programme is available as a result of GMCA securing funding from the European Social Fund and is designed to fill skills gaps identified by employers across different industries while making career opportunities better accessible to priority groups including ethnic minorities, women in employment and low-paid workers. Training is available at no cost to the business or learner due to the funding in place.

Libin said: “It led to my dream job! I’m so grateful for the free training opportunity I found on the Skills for Growth programme.

“I only had a basic background working as a housekeeper in care homes, so the training certainly gave me the depth of knowledge and essential skills needed to move into a professional health care role.

“The Skills for Growth programme gave me the opportunity to access great training for free and really opened the door to a whole new career. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for new opportunities. Without it, it would have been difficult for me to get a job as a professional health care assistant.

“The programme is flexible and easy to access meaning I was able to fit learning around the shifts I was working as a housekeeper.”

Libin completed modules in dementia, pressure care, infection control as well as safeguarding mental health and wellbeing. Libin now works on a female medical ward in North Manchester General Hospital. His role includes taking care of patients, serving meals, performing blood checks and supporting nursing staff.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s Lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, said: "It's fantastic to see the Skills for Growth programme helping people learn new skills, which will not only help them to access new opportunities but also ensure businesses in our city-region have access to a high-quality pool of talented individuals with relevant training.

“With cost-of-living pressures and day-to-day work commitments meaning that people are unable to pay for training or employers are struggling to release staff to undertake training, the Skills for Growth programme is arguably more important now than ever.

“It offers bespoke, up-to-date learning opportunities for people at absolutely no cost to them, which is delivered flexibly around existing commitments and business needs.

“We encourage people looking to make a career change to enrol in the programme, and we’ve seen some great successes stories so far. We’re also excited about expanding the training so even more people can benefit.” 

Commissioned partners are delivering Skills for Growth training across a number of industries including digital, health and social care, construction, manufacturing and logistics. Project management training for non-project managers is also available to those working across a variety of sectors.

Susan Arthur, Partnership Manager at Acorn Training, said:

"Acorn Training are proud to be leading a partnership of providers to deliver the Health & Social Care programme for Skills for Growth in Greater Manchester.

“The programme gives people the opportunity to access fully funded training enabling them to upskill and develop the skills and knowledge to better support and grow within their careers. We offer with our partners a wide range of tailored training to suit the needs of both learners and employers, with flexible delivery to fit around employment.

“Libin is an excellent example of what can be achieved, and we hope to reach more individuals across Greater Manchester."

Ambia Begum, Health and Social Care Tutor at Rochdale Training said:

“Training is available for residents working in Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester and is of real value to employees and employers.

“There is a skills gap for employees in the Health and Social Care Sector nationwide not just in this city-region, and training would usually cost an employer a considerable amount of money. The funding therefore helps to fill this skills gap, upskilling the workforce in the sector and enabling employees to progress their careers.”

For more information about the training opportunities available in different sectors across Greater Manchester, head to our ‘live training programmes’ page.

Article Published: 30/09/2022 09:10 AM