Care home provider Kingsley Healthcare has partnered with Lowestoft College to launch a pioneering recruitment academy.
Young people, aged 16 to 18, are being invited to interview for a one year course under the scheme.
Kingsley CEO Daya Thayan (pictured) said: “We want young people to see care as a worthwhile career, not simply a job. The care industry is as big as any other vibrant industry, like the oil industry, but a constraint until now has been a lack of training facilities and opportunities for youngsters.”
The 12 students accepted into the Kingsley Care Academy will begin their course next month, mixing classroom study with work experience at local Kingsley-run care homes.
Kingsley, which moved into its new head office in Clapham Road South, Lowestoft in July is to equip the students with a laptop and academy branded sweatshirts.
Mr Thayan has also agreed to pay students a £200 bursary and a £500 bonus on graduation; successful graduates will all be guaranteed jobs by Kingsley.
Mr Thayan, who started his business in 1999 with one care home in Lowestoft, before developing Kingsley into a national brand now employing 1,600 people, said the business needed fresh young talent to fuel its continued rapid growth across the country.
Kingsley’s recruitment manager Beverley Lambert added: “We are proud to have created this exciting opportunity for young people in the town where we started as a company.
“If they work hard, there will be almost limitless opportunities for them to progress their careers.
“Two of our most successful care home managers, twin sisters Helen Gosling and Paula Baker, began working in care as teenage Saturday girls; Lukasz Wawrzenczyk, who joined Kingsley as a domestic worker in 2005 when he arrived from Poland is now one of our service quality managers.”