Walsall Council launches recruitment drive

150 new Personal Assistants required to help residents.

A new campaign to increase the number of people able to work as personal assistants for disabled and older people has been rolled out by Walsall Council today.

Working with disability charity Ideal for All, the local authority is looking to meet the increasing demand for one-to-one independent living support by encouraging more than 150 people to enrol as registered PAs on the Walsall Personal Assistant Network.

There are currently 35 on the council’s directory and the aim for the new campaign, which provides information, advice and access to a Level 1 qualification in Personal Assistant Care, is to increase this figure five-fold over the next six months.

“PAs typically provide a range of personal and practical support to help people live their lives with greater independence, freedom and choice,” explained Councillor Diane Coughlan, Portfolio holder for Adult Social Care at Walsall Council.

“This includes help with washing and dressing, household jobs, shopping, paying bills, meeting friends, attending college, work or medical appointments.”

She added: “Personal Assistants are usually employed directly by the person requiring the support and some PAs can work for two or three clients during the course of a week. This type of work suits people who enjoy the company of others, like variety, perhaps already work in the care sector, want part time hours or are looking for a second income.”

Skills for Care, the national skills academy for social care, estimates that there will be more than 1.2 million Personal Assistant jobs in the UK by 2025. Walsall Council is hoping to attract individuals from a range of backgrounds, age groups and interests to offer local people greater choice in their search for a PA and increase the likelihood of a positive working relationship for both parties.

Individuals who are interested in what the role can offer, but have no experience of working in a care type setting, can access training and support by engaging with Ideal for All.

Khatija Patel, Chief Executive of the charity, went on to add: “We are holding taster sessions to explain the role of a PA, go through the appropriate checks, and, in partnership with Walsall Adult Community College, provide a package of accredited training. We will then support PAs to advertise their skills and availability on the portal ready for prospective employers to view.”

She concluded: “We’re also happy to hear from anyone already working as a Personal Assistant and available to work for Walsall residents.”