A CARE group with homes in Steeton and Cross Hills has launched a pioneering initiative to tackle a shortage of new workers entering the industry.

Czajka has teamed-up with JobCentre Plus for the venture.

People interested in working in care can complete a six-week supervised placement at one of Czajka's five homes, including Currergate at Steeton and Beanlands in Cross Hills.

Applications are invited from all age groups through JobCentre Plus offices in Keighley, Bradford and Skipton.

John Carrington, from Czajka Care Group, said: "We currently employ a 350-strong team and are always keen to attract new talent into our business.

"Working closely with JobCentre Plus on this new scheme will enable us to reach a vast pool of people who have previously expressed an interest in joining our industry, as well as supporting them as they embark on a rewarding and challenging career.

"At the end of the six-week placement, we'll have the opportunity to offer permanent positions to candidates who meet the required standard and decide that it is the right job for them.

"Everyone joining us receives an unrivalled standard of training at an in-house centre and there are plenty of progression opportunities across all areas of the industry."

Stephen Byrd, of JobCentre Plus, said it was delighted to be involved in the project.

"This offers people the opportunity to undertake training alongside a meaningful work placement and to get a real feel for what the care industry has to offer as a career route," he added.

In addition to its homes, Czajka also provides purpose-built retirement accommodation and operates The Clubhouse at Fairmount Park, which offers a range of leisure facilities to members.