A home care company has announced they will be creating 10,000 new jobs to deal with coronavirus, with many of them in the East of England.
Cera, which was only founded in 2016, plans to increase its workforce from 2,000 to 12,000, with its new staff ready to start work in just 10 days through its online training programme.
It expects a surge in demand as an estimated nine million Britons over 70 face weeks of self-isolation to protect themselves from the virus.
The majority of the jobs will be based in King's Lynn, Norwich, Stowmarket, Peterborough and London, according to the company.
It is the latest firm to announce a mass recruitment drive to meet demand generated by the coronavirus crisis, with some of the UK's biggest supermarkets creating an estimated 20,000 jobs in the last week.
Cera uses digital and data analytics to try and improve its service and has created an app to provide up-to-date health information of service users to their family members.
In the last month, it has raised £50 million through loans and investment to finance expansion and the roll out of its new online platform.
Chief executive Dr Ben Maruthappu is hoping those who may have lost or be at risk of losing their jobs in the hospitality, catering, fitness, travel and cleaning industries will take on the new roles.
He has promised that the new staff will be retained even after the pandemic ceases.
It is feared many hundreds of thousands of people could lose their jobs due to measures designed to contain Covid-19 such as the closure of pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Dr Maruthappu, who is also the company's co-founder, said: "The vast majority of these new roles will be as front-line carers, of which there are two types.
"The first are professional carer roles, which include providing regulated home care, such as help with aspects of daily living including eating, drinking and medication.
"The second are support carer roles, focused on providing assistance such as shopping and companionship.
"Both of these roles will be community based and will involve visiting people in their own homes - we also have select number of office-based support roles, tasks include scheduling calls and visits for users and providing advice and leadership for our carers."
Cera's services are commissioned by the NHS and local authorities and also provide self-funded care, Dr Maruthappu said, with carers earning up to £600 per week.
The company plans to provide its staff with personal protective equipment to prevent them bringing the virus into the homes of clients.
Dr Maruthappu said: "The majority of staff we take on will live local to the communities they will be supporting.
"We also use technology to minimise travel between home care visits, so carers can spend more time caring and making a difference to people's lives."
He added: "For individuals we cannot place, for example due to geographical reasons, we will share their application with small home care providers in need of staff, provided consent has been granted, in our effort to create a community across social care - everyone is in this together, and together we can care better."
Those interested in applying should visit Cera's website or go to BecomeACarer.co.uk.
All applicants will need to undergo a criminal record background check.
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