In 2017, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) were awarded £5.2 million to run one of the 6 national innovation pilot projects over the next three years. The pilots all aim to reduce the reliance on benefits and due to there being nearly 14,000 vacancies in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in 2016, the CPCA’s pilot is focusing on this the Health and Care Sector.

The Health and Care Sector Work Academy (HCSWA) is delivered over the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and offers those who are out of work or trapped in low paid jobs the opportunity to achieve a Level 1 qualification, the basic knowledge of the Care Certificate and mentoring to start a career in the sector. The Academy also is focusing on progressing those already in the sector through offering Level 2 and above qualifications and apprenticeships.

The Academy ran its first course in March 2018 and has to date successfully engaged over 230 people who have taken part in the initial Information and advice session and many have gone onto the Level 1 qualification courses with 100% achieving their certificate in Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care. An amazing 59% of those who have currently completed the training have gone onto gain employment in the sector.

We are working closely with employers to not only offer them newly trained candidates to fulfil their vacancy needs but to also support any training needs of existing staff to support their progression.

The Marbrook Centre, based near St Neots, is a specialist neurological rehabilitation service who have provided feedback on the benefits of working together with the Academy,

‘Working with Vanessa and The Health Care Academy is proving to be a successful partnership for, us as an employer and our new employees. We recommended 2 people that were completely new to the caring environment that we thought would benefit from the courses HCA provide, and so far, this has proved to be the case.

It’s no secret that the turnover in the care setting can be higher than other environments, but we are hopeful that giving new recruits the opportunity to learn more about the role itself prior to starting with us will give a clearer insight into the expectations of the role.

Vanessa has been out to visit us and has also sat in on part of our induction, so she had a better understanding of Marbrook, the standard of care we provide and our ethos and values, this helps greatly when she refers potential candidates to us. In return, I have helped students on some of the other courses prepare for interviews.

This is a new and exciting journey that we are very much looking forward to being involved as our partnership continues to develop’
If you would like more information on the Health and Care Work Academy or if you would like to be involved through guest speaking or recruiting and progression opportunities, then please call 0800 310 1160 or email