UK home care provider pledges pathway to train up 500 refugees from Afghanistan as care workers

One of the UK’s largest home care providers has pledged to train up and employ 500 refugees from Afghanistan as carers.

Over the next five years Cera aims to recruit, train and employ 500 refugees who come to the UK as part of its resettlement programme amid the crisis in Afghanistan.

The start-up uses technology to bring people services such as social care, nursing and repeat prescriptions in their own home, carrying out more than 30,000 visits each day.

It will work with more than 160 local councils and the Government to train new arrivals.

Ben Maruthappu, Cera co-founder and chief executive, said finding employment is “yet another significant obstacle to overcome” for many people starting a new life after being displaced by conflict.

He continued: “Over the next five years, our goal is to support them in this journey by offering a pathway into not only gainful employment, but an enormously rewarding career in one of the UK’s most important sectors.

“We’ll be working with those councils we are already in partnership with, as well as the government more broadly, to reach out to those affected and who are eligible for these roles.

“If we can play even a small role in helping those arriving from Afghanistan, that’s an opportunity we’re keen to grasp with both hands.”

The initiative follows similar support during the coronavirus pandemic, when Cera retrained staff in hard-hit industries, such as hospitality and retail, into healthcare roles.

It also comes amid significant workforce issues in the social care sector, with Skills for Care estimating that there are around 112,000 vacancies on any given day.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The UK has a proud history of protecting people in life-threatening situations and we are determined to help as many Afghans as possible through the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme.

“We will welcome 5,000 Afghans in year one, with an ambition of resettling up to 20,000 in the long-term if needed. This is a sustainable intake, in line with most of our international partners.

“The welfare of every new arrival is vital and the scheme must be run in a way that allows refugees to be properly supported in every aspect of starting their new lives.

“The Government is also helping those who supported British soldiers and their families with the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy which is incredibly generous scheme and has been significantly expanded. It is expected to help 5,000 Afghans relocate this year.”

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