The love of learning

Debbie Gibb

Debbie Gibb

Debbie Gibb, Training Manager and Assessment Centre Co-ordinator at ARC Scotland is one of our Ambassadors for Careers in Care. Here she tells us how she feels about the importance of training and learning for social service workers.

My current role with ARC Scotland sort of evolved, as we became a larger assessment centre, delivering a wider variety of training and offering a larger range of SVQ’s. The introduction of SSSC registration and qualification requirements directed this growth to some extent.

What attracted you to your job?

I was attracted to my role as Training Manager and Assessment Centre Co-ordinator as I am especially interested in the whole subject of learning – how people learn, the difference new knowledge and understanding can make to a person’s confidence, motivation and self esteem and most importantly, the impact that learning, training and developing makes to the people on the receiving end of the service.

What attracted you to the sector?

Initially, I came into the social care sector almost by accident – I intended it to be a short term change of career but that was nearly 20 years ago and I am still here!

How important are the services you provide?

I cannot emphasis enough the importance of training and learning and continually improving the quality of our work in the social care sector. The quality of the life of the people supported is directly affected by the skills, competence and creativity of the staff providing the service. Working in social care and support demands a lot of energy, self motivation, initiative and a sense of social justice and fairness. Therefore, if the people who possess all these qualities are not encouraged, supported and invested in, they probably won’t stay and the sector will not deliver the best it should. A trainer who has been a great source of inspiration to me once said that a manager asked him “What if I train all my staff and they leave?” My colleague replied “Ah, but what if you don’t and they stay?”

What do you like most about your role?

I love the variety in my role – I meet loads of interesting people all the time and I am constantly in awe of the great support that exists out there. However, it is not without challenges – for example working with funding constraints and trying to win over those who seem resistant to change. There are significant changes afoot in the way training and learning will need to be delivered and I am both challenged and excited about what kind of training people will want and need when services are designed around individuals and their particular lifestyles.

What are you looking forward to in both your job and being an Ambassador?

I am delighted with my new role as an Ambassador for Career’s in Care because I hope that my own story and my enthusiasm and natural energy will inspire others to come into the sector. There are exciting times ahead – the implementation of personalised services and in particular self-directed support will irreversibly change the way social care and support is provided and commissioned. People who use services are more in control of their lives than ever and there are so many opportunities now for creative and rewarding careers in care.

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