Support for both Employers & Learners
“What about social distancing?”
Classroom E-Learning measures
Our pre-training is innovatively designed which allows us to work around COVID-19 due to it being delivered virtually online. We will no longer be placing learners into a classroom for the physical ‘handling days’ unless there is enough social distance space to do so or an employer host with the measures in place to do so. Similar to what we have in place already, our trainers are continuing to run our live and interactive zoom workshops, so that everyone can learn ad engage whilst in the safety of their own home.
Work Experience measures
The new COVID-19 standard which we have set in place for work experiences, means that we are carefully assessing the volumes of our work experiences to help reduce the risk of any unnecessary exposure to our learners, by limiting the amount of contact our learners have with people who may not be essential to their learning.
Large volume of placement pledges will be considered on a case by case basis and will be dependent on whether it can be evidenced via strict policies and a clear procedure in place, that an employer partner can safely facilitate this amount (for example sanitising stations, rotating shifts etc).
The general safety and well-being of our learners, will always come first. We will currently not be putting anyone into a placement without PPE being assigned or a clear COVID-19 procedure in place. We will also be unable to place a learner where social distancing isn’t possible, unless the PPE measures in place allow people to carry out their work safely outside of the 1 metre rule. 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.
All employers have access to our resources and tools under the policy section within our website. COVID-19 risk assessments are openly accessible for both our learners and employers who may need some guidance.
Being mindful of others…
We are also very mindful of our core belief in terms of inclusion and thinking of others during this time. Because of this, we are asking for employers to be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with learners who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. By carrying out our pre-existing and ‘mandatory’ pre-placement checks, we aim to ensure that the learner is not effected by any of these procedures and that these reasonable adjustments are considered, before placing someone into a placement.
Animal Careers Programme – Update
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.
Science Careers Programme – Update
Luckily within medical research facilities and laboratories in general, this is just the new normal. There have always been strict biosecurity measures in place which can include air showers in, wet showers in, face masks, hair nets, feet covering, scrubs and hair nets etc. Social distancing still plays a role and a lot of facilities are working on rotation to lower any risk of infection. Facilities have to be kept germ free to ensure the researchers get the most accurate results.
“Why are training providers 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 and soon a Level 1 in Science. It also helps that we have one of the highest success rates in terms of ‘in to work’ ratio with 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 of increased mental health issues.
“What about PPE?”
Thanks to our 20 years experience of growing scientific partnerships, we have a strong background in placing people into germ free environments where biosecurity is taken very seriously. This naturally helped at the start of the pandemic due to having PPE measures already in place with PPE already in stock (in fact we already owned a face mask ‘fitting kit’ to ensure our learners had the right one with a true to size fit!) Through having a background in medical research, we already had a number of strong pre-existing partnerships with large suppliers, who already supply us with hospital grade sanitising products, masks and full PPE. The majority of our employer partners have PPE measures already in place due to the nature of the roles involving work with potentially sick animals, chemicals or samples.
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 to do so and that the learner is 100% comfortable with their decision. We live by our duty of care and our culture of care scheme, which is to ensure we do the right thing in all that we do with the wellbeing of learners in mind.
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 head over to the policies tab on our website and take a look at our ‘culture of care scheme’? Still need more? Why not check out our open and visible policies for further information directly here on our website.
If you experience any of the below symptoms, you will need to stay at home for 7 days. If you live with someone who shows these symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in your home starting having symptoms –
- A high temperature – This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough – This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or experiencing 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- A loss or change to sense of taste or smell – This means that your taste and/or smell has changed or gone completely
General hygiene rules
Wash your hands after using the toilet, before eating, and if you cough/sneeze into your hands (follow the 20-second hand-washing rule). It is also important to use sanitizers.
- Cough/sneeze into your sleeve, preferably into your elbow. If you use a tissue, discard it properly and clean/sanitize your hands immediately
- Open the windows regularly to ensure open ventilation
- Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent from getting infected
- If you find yourself coughing/sneezing on a regular basis, avoid close physical contact with others and take extra precautionary measures (such as requesting sick leave)
“Can I progress with online work experience?”
A risk assessment will be completed prior to any work experience opportunity taking place, our checks have been put in place to ensure that placement providers are able to provide safe working environments in line with government advice.
If a risk assessment is not passed, we will not allow a work experience opportunity to progress until sufficient measures are implemented.
“Should I still attend my work experience placement if I have a health condition?”
If you have a medical condition and you are concerned about attending your placement, we suggest that you check with your GP or healthcare professional for official medical advice. Please see some further useful information on the NHS website.
We ask you to share any information confidentially so we can support you appropriately as part of our risk assessment.
“What happens if I can’t complete my work placement due to COVID-19?”
You will not be put at a disadvantage for being unable to complete the minimum number of weeks or hours normally expected, we have worked tirelessly to put measures in place to ensure alternative measures for learning are in place.
“What happens if I contract Coronavirus during my traineeship?”
If you, or anyone you live with has symptoms of the virus, you must self-isolate in line with government guidelines. Please contact Katie Brook immediately so we can provide any necessary support. Katie can be contacted on 02039240160 or emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org
“What should I do if my work experience element is cancelled during my traineeship due to COVID-19?
A placement may be cancelled due the impact of COVID-19 and, while this is very disappointing, the decision will not have been taken lightly. Please be professional if your employer shares the news as we will endeavour to ensure alternative methods are in place to complete your placement remotely.
If it is not possible to continue a placement we will ensure an alternative placement is found.
COVID-19 response within Animal Care & Science
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.
Similar to the animal care sector, the science sector is still very much moving, if not more so. COVID-19 has quickly led to scientists racing to to find a cure whilst trying to understand exactly how the virus behaves along with the long-term effects it can have on the body. Research and testing for COVID-19 is in over drive and the need for lab technicians, is more prominent than ever.
“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 and science. The main impact is a reduction in terms of the volume of learners who are going in within 1 time.
Recruitment – Recruitment for some companies this is continuing, however especially within animal care where the animals need to be cared for day in and day out. The science industry is still moving and as mentioned above, is still in need for laboratory technicians. 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 and the scientific research still needs to be run. Hospital patients still need results, illnesses other than COVID-19 still exist. We need to still regardless of the pandemic, be able to offer the best animal welfare possible and help keep humans alive and well 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. Here at the Careers PG we will keep you up to date as much as possible, so please do not feel alone. After all, with all the different forms of media and sources, who should you go to for reliable information?
“What Reliable Sources of Information, should we be using?”
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.