BUSINESSES in Herefordshire have joined forces to launch a new leadership and management training programme for staff in the social care industry.

Training and consultation company Kemble Training has liaised with Herefordshire Care Homes to launch the new scheme, which has already seen four staff from the care home group take part.

Ashleigh Beard from Hazelhurst Nursing Home, Karen Pritchard from Coldwells House Care Home, Paul Jones from Highwell House Nursing Home, and Becky Gwinnett from Whitegates Care Home have all successfully completed the five-week course.

Consisting of individual mentoring and a weekly workshop to minimise the disruption to the business, the course is designed to give the staff a fundamental understanding of leadership and management.

With a focus on building staff confidence, it tackles key issues, from culture, vision and values to appraisals and dealing with staff sickness.

It also helps them to learn the soft skills to be able to put these theories into place.

Stephen Weller of Kemble Training said: "We like to take a consultative approach, and from talking with Herefordshire Care Homes and others, it became apparent that some great carers had been put into supervisory positions, but required leadership and management soft skills to support them in their roles."

Karen Rogers, Chief Executive of Herefordshire Care Homes, said: "We pride ourselves in investing in our staff, and we wanted to be able to help them taking the first steps towards being managers in the future.

"We are delighted with the results already."