A Huddersfield-based homecare company is hoping a new link-up with Kirklees College will help it recruit the carers of the future.

Five students from the college recently spent time working at Caremark Kirklees.

The students, some of whom are in the final months of a two-year T-Level course in Health & Social Care, got to see the day-to-day running of the Caremark Kirklees head office in Armitage Bridge, whilst getting hands-on experience shadowing carers who support customers across the area.

As part of their course, the students need to complete a 150-hour placement and Caremark carried out an in depth three-day training course for the students covering first aid, moving and handling techniques, the importance of infection prevention and how to be a carer at Caremark.

The idea is to give the students practical experience and knowledge of a real working environment before they enter employment, or go on to further study, in the coming months.

Caremark Kirklees director Fiona Smith said: “Like all companies in the care sector, we experience challenges when it comes to recruitment.

“However, we have made great strides as a company to change people’s perceptions about care and to demonstrate that caring is a rewarding career with clear opportunities for progression.

“And specifically at Caremark Kirklees, we have worked hard on staff retention, introducing initiatives such as carer of the month and carer of the year awards, long service recognition and introducing a mobile app which enables us to recognise carer birthdays, anniversaries and achievements.

“These are all things which the students saw for themselves during their time with us so hopefully when it comes to choosing their eventual career path, it will be with Caremark.

“We are now hoping to further strengthen our relationship with Kirklees College and offer even more opportunities to students in the coming years.”

Kirklees College lecturer Charlotte Smith said: “We are grateful to Caremark for partnering with us to offer industry placements for our Health and Social Care students.

“As part of their course, they need to complete a 150-hour placement, so this was an important element of that.

“These industry placements give students first-hand experience on how to be a carer and learn amongst the most experienced.”

One of the students, Aldophine, said: “I enjoyed shadowing the carers and meeting different customers, who were all very friendly and happy to chat.”

Caremark Kirklees was recently named as one of the top 20 recommended companies in the Yorkshire and Humber region, based on customers reviews, and employs 100 people. It is the only company in Huddersfield to achieve this accolade.

The company was established in 2015 by managing director Duncan Smith, with his wife Fiona joining the business in 2020.