Birmingham-based care provider Claimar has pierced the economic gloom with plans to create around 500 jobs in the Midlands as part of a huge national expansion programme.

The Edgbaston-based firm announced it was seeking more than 1,500 new recruits - including a third in the Midlands - amid growing demand for its services as the population ages.

The Birmingham firm, a national domiciliary care provider, already employs around 3,500 carers and support staff to look after individuals in their own homes, from the very young to the very old.

Bosses at the company say the care sector is constantly growing because of the UK’s ageing population and the Government’s commitment to look after people at home as much as possible.

Chief executive of the Birmingham company Mark Hales said: “The 1,500 positions we are actively recruiting are the continuation of our 2008/2009 programme for care contracts that we already have in place or are due to begin imminently.

“We are constantly bidding on new contracts as they are renewed by local authorities across the country, so that number could well increase in the New Year.

“We make more than 80,000 care visits each week. Flexibility means deciding when care workers want to work, it also means that they can decide when they don’t.

“To guarantee that our service is effective, and to maintain that flexibility for staff, we need to constantly add to our teams.

“At a time when redundancies are being announced, it’s great to be able to keep taking people into a career that can be really rewarding.”

A Claimar Care spokesman added that a series of new contract wins had increased the need for extra staff at the Edgbaston group.

“The new jobs are required because of the ageing population, new contract wins and the demand for flexibility. You have to have a big, flexible staff to call on and Claimar needs a very broad range of users.”

The Birmingham group, currently in the process of moving to new offices in Edgbaston to help drive its expansion, already has a string of contracts with local councils, including Birmingham, Walsall and Sandwell.