“What about social distancing?”
Our pre-training is perfectly designed around COVID-19 and is delivered virtually online. The work experience standard rule we’ve set is that there is 1 traineeship at a time rule (unless it can be evidenced via strict policies and a clear procedure in place that an employer partner can offer more but this will be decided on a case by case basis)
Naturally of course with anything at the moment, placements will come along with social distancing rules and by having COVID measures in place and agreed with each employer. All animals need daily care and as many animal care workers especially vets will agree, this has been a very challenging time. In fact, most of our employer partners have animals which are outdoors which of course has naturally made it easier to adhere to, within these difficult times.
The safety and well-being of our learners comes first. We will currently not be putting anyone into a placement without a mask or into a placement where social distancing isn’t possible. We are also keeping up to date on the latest updates in terms of guidance from a range of sources including gov.uk and the relevant industry bodies.
“Why are we still placing people into work experiences?”
There are many people currently out of work or unable to enter physical classrooms. We believe in giving people a fairer chance of receiving employment and have invested in a lot of time and resources into delivering our training virtually online. This means that our learners can receive the necessary training from the safety of their own home.
We offer government funded training (at no cost to the learner or employer) under the traineeship scheme. This gives great opportunity for jobseekers who are either facing unemployment or currently unemployed.
Upskilling the labour market
Jobseekers have the opportunity to up skill themselves in the safety of their own home by enhancing both their Maths and English skills, whilst working to achieve a Level 1 Diploma in Animal Care. What is even better is that we have a strong proven success rate of moving into employment after, which is great news for anyone who is unemployed during this current climate
Increasing Social Mobility & Improving Mental Health
Our work experience phase is giving people a chance to learn new skills and meet new people (social distanced of course!) which has been excellent for people’s mental health and social mobility at the moment, especially within the current climate where there is a rise in cases.
“What about PPE?”
We are very lucky to have some strong pre-existing partnerships with suppliers who have been able to supply us with hospital grade sanitising products, masks and full PPE. There are also strict PPE measures in place with many of the employer partners.
We feel hugely responsible for both our learners and their well being. We will never put a learner into a work placement unless we feel it is safe and it is 100% the learners choice. We live by our duty of care and our culture is to ensure we do the right thing in all that we do.
Below explains what we are doing to ensure that we are socially responsible, during the pandemic to support people into work..
The world of finding people jobs is working in overdrive and the unemployment rate is on the rise with it set to increase from the end of October 2020. The current increase in claimants at job centres means there is a huge strain on the the application to job ratio across the nation rose . In fact it rose to 84%, meaning there are more people “battling it out” for every job.
Our aim is purely to support people who need help to look for employment, it always has been. As a business, we are passionate about what we do. We are passionate about helping people to improve their lives and even more so now.
Still unsure on how we look after people? Why not have a look at our ‘culture of care scheme’ or check out our open policies for further information directly here on our website.
COVID-19 response within Animal Care
Companies are still looking to recruit. Although many job opportunities will have been affected by COVID-19, companies continue to recruit even during this difficult time. Also unlike other sectors, such as the leisure industry, animal care is very much needed as there is still a need for animals to be cared for each and every day.
“How are companies responding?”
Many companies are upholding offers of internship and work experience opportunities that they have already confirmed with learners and are still able to accommodate work experience placements. In some cases these opportunities are being reduced in length and start/end dates are being adjusted.
Work Experiences – Enrolment activity for new traineeships and work experience opportunities has of course naturally and drastically reduced, however this has not been the case within animal care.
Recruitment – Recruitment for some companies is continuing, however especially within animal care where the animals need to be cared for day in and day out. We advise you to be mindful that recruitment plans may change as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve.
To summarise, yes many industry sectors are being affected in different ways, it really is a funny old time! However, animals still need to be cared for. We need to still regardless of the pandemic, be able to offer the best animal welfare possible regardless of COVID-19. Professional bodies and industry bodies are a good source of information to find out what is happening in the specific industries that interest you, should you feel concerned.
Social Distancing – Our 4 Top Tips!
We want to ensure that everyone gets the best out of our work placements, especially whilst ‘social distance measures’ are in place. Because of this, we felt it would be useful to give some advice to help our learners, to help prepare and ensure that as a learner, you still get the best from the experience regardless of COVID-19 measures which may be in place.
Here are our ‘4 top tips’ to make the most of your placement.
1 – Make sure you have everything you need!
Ensure you have received all of the necessary on-boarding or induction information from us confirming that you have access to appropriate technology and any important resources on the LMS system. If you don’t have everything you think you need, do not hesitate to ask us for support! Ensure you are clear on what your duties will be and ensure to soak up all that is available to you on our LMS systems. We have multiple extra online training modules, which are optional to our learners, so feel free to have a look around. For example if you need to know about sheep shearing as your preplacement form enlists you may be shadowing this, then please try and get yourself familiar with this before hand so that you are both aware and able to adjust to consider any social distancing measures.
2 – If possible, get to know your fellow learners or colleagues virtually
Getting to know your colleagues or co-learners is an important first step of any new learning, job or placement. If possible, why not connect with colleagues or learners remotely and follow up with people after virtual meetings to ask questions and share your ideas. Our Learner Management Software (LMS) will allow you to do this, so feel free to reach out to each other!
Once you are able to return to the classroom or work placement, both learners and colleagues will be able to put a face to a name as they have already had meaningful interactions with you.
3 – Pay attention to the online culture
During this time it will be important to pay attention to the online culture, do people respond immediately to messages? Are virtual training sessions formal? Are employer zooms on a 1-2-1 bases? How do learner or colleagues contribute effectively in virtual settings?
4 – Understand your objectives
Make sure you understand what your immediate objectives and tasks are and agree with your trainer about how you will work to achieve these.
If your work experience is still taking place in the workplace ensure you are following all guidelines on social distancing as outlined by government and the company. Please do not panic too much as we will be in constant communication with you in a variety of ways such as our interactive LMS system, via text and email, to update you on each specific industry bodies guidance, government rules and legislations.