HEALTH and social care workers and job seekers wishing to enter the profession are to be offered the chance to gain new maths, English, care and IT skills.

"Flex to Learn" offers a new approach based on flexible study times.

It forms part of Devon County Council’s " Proud to Care" campaign, aimed at attracting more people to the health and care profession by encouraging them to see it as a rewarding and worthwhile career choice.

The new course will take on approximately 300 people, 100 in Devon, during the first year and follows a joint bid with four other councils for £410,539 of Department for Education funding.

The courses will be run by Learn Devon, Devon County Council’s adult education service, Skills and Learning Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole and Somerset Skills and Learning.

The courses will be delivered on behalf of the Borough of Poole, Bournemouth Borough, Dorset County Council, Devon County Council and Somerset County Council.

The award will be used to digitalise course content, to buy laptops, to set up a virtual learning platform and to train tutors, learning coaches and classroom mentors.

The courses on offer will be English, English for Speakers of other languages (ESOL), maths, care and IT. They will be available to job seekers who want to enter the profession and existing social care and health staff in both the private and public sector.

This includes staff in care providers, residential and nursing homes and in the NHS. A pilot course will begin from June with the course rolled out across the three areas from September.