Caring roles shouldn’t be a barrier to employment

Posted on: 26 May 2016

When Anna gave up her job to become a full time carer for her disabled daughter she thought the break from work would be temporary and that she’d soon be back.

It quickly became clear to her though that caring responsibilities took priority, and she thought it unlikely that paid employment would be sufficiently flexible to fit around being a carer. Thoughts of a career were put on hold.

Fast forward to November 2015, and Anna attended a Carers into Employment event organised and hosted by the Devon Carers Partnership – Devon County Council, NEW Devon CCG and South Devon and Torbay CCG.

Listening to guest speakers and talking to other carers with similar demands on their time helped Anna decide a new direction.

Her in-depth knowledge and experience of ADHD meant that she was well placed to offer advice to others dealing with it.

With formal training and a professional qualification, Anna’s now a life coach, specialising in coaching people with ADHD.

“It is something that I’d wanted to do for a while, but hadn’t really felt the time was right,” said Anna.

Attending the Carers into Employment event was a turning point. There was a lot of really helpful information and interesting people to talk to, and it gave me the inspiration and confidence I needed to take my first steps towards running my own business.

“I’m really enjoying it, and it’s flexible enough for my caring responsibilities to continue.”

Anna’s not alone. Of the 84,000 plus people in Devon who provide care to a friend or relative, approximately 14,000 have given up their jobs or reduced their working hours to do so.

The Devon Carers Partnership say that carers who want to work should be able to do so. And that their caring roles should not be a barrier to them finding employment.

The partnership, in collaboration with Devon Carers and Job Centre Plus, is holding another ‘Carers into Employment’ event on Wednesday 8 June at Newton Abbot racecourse.

The ticket-only event will provide carers with information and advice to help them find work, understand their employment rights and make them aware of support and training available to them.

There will be information to help carers considering self-employment or setting up small businesses.

Anna will be on hand to talk to carers about her business, ‘Remarkable Difference ADHD Coaching’, and offering support around work/life balance.

And there will be a range of employers, showcasing jobs that they currently have available.

Cllr Stuart BarkerCllr Stuart Barker, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for carers support, says:

“Many carers may feel that their own situations prevent them finding meaningful employment because of the flexibility they need.

“We say that caring roles shouldn’t be a barrier to employment if they want it, and that there is support available to help them find employment and to help them understand the rights they have to a work/life balance that accommodates their caring responsibilities.”

Lee Tozer, Operational Partnership Manager for Jobcentre Plus said:

“This is a great opportunity for carers to discover the support that’s available for them. Staff from Jobcentre Plus and Devon Carers will be available at the event to offer advice and to help people move into employment.”

“Whether you want to apply for a job, or are thinking of becoming self-employed, there is something there for everyone,” said Anna Schlapp. “Don’t miss this great opportunity to get yourself informed and supported.”

Tickets to the event are free. Places are limited though and booking is required, either online, or by ringing Devon Carers on 08456 434435.

Replacement care and travel expenses can be arranged by ringing Devon Carers.

Posted in: DCC Homepage