A PARTNERSHIP between Progress to Excellence Ltd and a national group of care homes is tackling the potential crisis of looking after an increasing ageing population by the success of a major apprenticeship programme.

As people are living longer - leading to more older people requiring care - at least another half-a-million jobs will be essential in 10 years’ time to populate the UK’s adult social care workforce. 

However, Country Court Care, an award-winning family-owned group of care homes, has discovered how employing apprentices could be the solution.

In the past 12 months, the organisation, which is headquartered in Peterborough and runs 33 care homes nationwide, has in the past 12 months seen 43 of its workforce complete apprenticeship programmes run by Progress to Excellence Ltd.

Of these, 14 gained a Level 2 Diploma in Care, another 14 achieved a Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, one gained a Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration, 13 gained a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Young People’s Services while one was awarded a Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership.

Damian Burdin, Chief Executive at Progress to Excellence Ltd, said: “Apprentices who have been trained at Country Court Care are now seen as an integral part of the business.

“Supported in their career development from the first day of employment, they have become loyal employees who feel valued in the workplace, are strong and dependable members of staff with a vital team ethic that contributes to the elderly residents’ high quality care.”

According to the Department of Health, there are currently almost one-and-a-half million people currently working in social care. However, because of the growing number of older people needing care – coupled with the increasing life expectancy of more disabled younger adults – the sector needs at least another half-a-million jobs, and the people to do them, by 2030.

Damian continued: “To fulfil these vital future needs for our increasing elderly population, it is important that an organisation like Country Court Care continues to employ and train highly qualified staff. These are the people who bring their professionalism, skills and experience to the job along with a caring, friendly attitude so they can deliver their exceptional levels of care.

“As its training partner, with our delivery of high quality apprenticeship and training programmes nationally, we believe the continuous development of the apprentices is vital to workforce stability and to the wellbeing of residents.

“This nurture and development of Country Court Care’s own talent pool also creates greater awareness of the benefits of working in adult social care where there is a huge demand for workers and many opportunities for career progression.

“In a job in which 96 per cent of employees say they feel their work makes a real difference to people’s lives, adult social care has lots to offer. 

“And at a time when our growing ageing population becomes a high agenda problem to tackle, it’s apprenticeships, with such high levels of job satisfaction and career development, that are a key to the solution.”

Progress to Excellence Ltd has been involved in the training and development of Country Court Care’s apprentices for the past two years.

Joe Rice, the organisation’s Head of Risk and Compliance, described the quality of the courses provided to staff as “excellent” and the support provided to learners as “second to none”. 

He said: “From my perspective, the support provided to me by Progress to Excellence Ltd management is always of a high standard and they are always willing to go above and beyond to meet our needs.

“For instance, we were greatly assisted in the recruitment of our first head office administration apprentice last year. Everything was done from the creation of the job advert, through the actual advertising of the role via multiple job boards and reviewing submitted CVs to finally filtering suitable candidates for interview.”

Qualifications delivered by Progress to Excellence Ltd at Country Court Care include Health & Social Care Level 2 and 3; Health & Social Care Management Level 5 (Care Home Managers); Business and Administration Levels 2 and 3 and Leadership and Management Level 5 (Senior Manager).

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