College course leads to job and award success


12 Nov 2023
Award winner Claire Smith wearing a white top and holding a framed certificate and glass award
Award winner Claire Smith wearing a white top and holding a framed certificate and glass award

A former bar worker who changed to a career in social care thanks to a course at City of Wolverhampton College has been honoured at a regional awards ceremony. 

Claire Smith, aged 31, from Heath Town, was named winner of the Best Carer Award at the recent Black Country Excellence in Care Awards. 

After becoming unemployed, Claire was told about the college’s health and social care sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) which enables participants to develop the skills needed to work in the sector and guarantees an interview with a sector employer at the end of the programme. 

On completion of the course, she was offered a job as a carer at Handle with Care (Black Country) Ltd and, since starting work at the company, has gone on to complete a range of industry-recognised qualifications. 

Claire said: “It was a great course at the college and I learnt a lot. I’ve wanted to work in the care sector for many years and when I was offered the job at Handle with Care I felt like I’d finally achieved what I really want to do.  

“I was overwhelmed when I was told I’d been shortlisted for the award, and when I was announced as the winner, I was so shocked I cried!  

“I was so happy that the work I do and the quality of care I provide to service users had been recognised and that all my efforts to get my dream job had finally paid off!  

The health and social care SWAP is part of a range of programmes offered by the college and funded by West Midlands Combined Authority to equip local people with the skills needed to work in priority sectors across the region and support employers who are looking to recruit new staff. 

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