The involvement of Age Concern Birmingham in the Erasmus+ funded project EldiCare reached a successful end in April 2021.
The project has explored the need for standard training for care givers across Europe in response to the background of the ageing population of the region. Research carried out in Europe had highlighted a skills mismatch in the elderly care sector, so our project was designed to offer a pathway for carers through education and training in health applications.
The partners in the project represented community and academic sectors from Spain, Germany, Greece, Cyprus and the United Kingdom. Research was carried out amongst the partners to identify what kind of training both paid and unpaid carers need and from this research two curricula were developed.
During the past 12 months, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted on the management and delivery of the EldiCare project and a planned schedule of trans-European visits and partner meetings had to be cancelled. Even so, the project partners continued to communicate through online social platforms, creating a psychometric tool to assess whether individuals are suited to a paid care-giving role. We also created a complex project management toolkit through Base Camp for the exchange of documents and ideas as well as a training platform for the learners who piloted the courses.
Age Concern Birmingham (ACB) successfully encouraged 35 learners to complete the 2 courses through the online platform, one at a level 4 competency and one at level 5. The courses included units around nutrition, basic knowledge of conditions, First Aid with health and safety, safeguarding and dealing with grief. The courses also had a communication and information technology component which included digital skills, information handling and data literacy. Carers who completed the course with a pass mark were rewarded with a certificate.
At the end of the piloting stage of the training, ACB organised meetings between some of our course completers and teaching staff from our UK partner, Staffordshire University to explore the relevance of their learning to the work-based situation. In a further meeting we discussed how the course could be adapted to the training of carers in the UK.
In spite of the challenges, firstly of Brexit and later of the pandemic across Europe, EldiCare has achieved what it set out to do in creating a standardised training curricula for carers in our partner countries.
Peter Millington who is the manager of ACB’s carer services said:
“We have enjoyed the experience of working with European partners and learnt a great deal about the care and elderly sectors of a range of countries. Each country has a different perspective and a different way of organising services to older people. But there are also many similarities between the services of different countries and the issues of the ageing population. It therefore makes sense to standardise training in order for carers from one part of Europe to work in another part”.
Manager of Birmingham Carers Hub
Age Concern Birmingham
0333 006 9711