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Appointments: WHO CARES WINS; You don't need qualifications to have a rewarding career.

IT isn't easy to get back into the workforce when you've been unemployed for a while or taking a break to bring up a family. But that isn't necessarily a bar to finding satisfying work. Even if you have few formal qualifications, experience you have gained as a parent or running a household can be applied to the workplace.

That is particularly true of jobs in the caring, hospitality and tourism sectors, where skills such as being able to get on with people or managing a budget are valued.

Linda Lowe of Elcap, a charity based in Prestonpans, East Lothian, which helps people with disabilities live independent lives, says: ``A lot of people have skills and experience from bringing up children or other things in their lives.''

And she believes a career in caring can provide job satisfaction missing from many other kinds of work.

Linda is keen to encourage more people to consider caring careers and that is one of the reasons Elcap got involved withTHE Workers' Educational Association was set up in 1903 and is the UK's largest voluntary provider of adult education.

The charity runs more than 10,000 workplace courses each year, often in partnership with other local organisations.

If you're unemployed and live in Midlothian or East Lothian, contact your local JobCentre to find out more about the Job Rotation project.

Job Rotation, a new training project being piloted in East Lothian and Midlothian.

A joint initiative between Scottish Enterprise and the Workers' Educational Association, it aims to fund new jobs in smaller companies in the area.

For every unemployed person a company takes on for a sixmonth placement, the project will also pay for additional training for four existing staff.

In similar schemes across Scotland, four in five trainees areoffered a permanent job after their placement period is over.

Elcap, whose staff work with clients in their homes, helping them with everyday chores such as cleaning and cooking, shopping and banking have a trainee starting shortly.

Linda says: ``At the end of six months we hope to be able to offer that person a permanent contract.''

Other companies signing up for the scheme include hotels and nursing homes.

There are more specialist positions available, too, with firms such as Interflex, of Dalkeith, offering logistics and manufacturing opportunities.

Andy Chapman, project coordinator for the Workers' Educational Association, says: ``Job Rotation is all about helping people gain new skills to benefit the local economy.

``Trainees will be paid the going rate for the job, while the company receives funding to the tune of 45 per cent towards the new salary.''


Solutions: Linda Lowe, of Elcap, helps people get back into workplace
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 26, 2003
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