From education to employment

Apprenticeships help turn dreams to reality for people with complex needs

APPRENTICESHIPS in adult social care are helping to turn dreams into reality for whole communities of people with complex needs, thanks to a long-standing training partnership with Progress to Excellence Ltd.

For the teams of support workers at Plymouth-based Havencare, these qualifications are the route to success in the challenging and rewarding jobs that they have chosen in the health and social care sector.

And – most importantly – their training is ensuring that service users are being nurtured and supported so that they can reach their full potential and be as independent as possible.

Havencare, which supports people with learning disabilities and autism in the South West of England, has chosen the apprenticeship training route for their staff. And when searching for a training partner, Progress to Excellence Ltd, which specialises in the health and social care sector, was the obvious choice.

Currently 12 members of staff are working towards their Level 2 and 3 qualifications, their eventual goal to be Team Leaders in an organisation that provides supported living in service users’ own homes or in residential care.

Altogether, a total of 38 staff members at Havencare have achieved their qualifications with Progress to Excellence Ltd to date.

Havencare Practice Leader Kelly Avery, who has worked in the disability sector for more than 18 years and who has just completed her Leadership and Management in Care Level 5 qualification, explained:

“Our mission is to meet the needs and realise the dreams of our service users, no matter what their disability.

“Some have extremely complex needs and, in supporting those with autism or Aspergers syndrome, the challenges for our staff can be huge but also immensely rewarding.

“That’s why high-quality training is vital. It also shows to those in our care that everyone is fully equipped to deal with any situation in a demanding environment.

“First and foremost, we are dealing with real people and many sensitive situations. Our training needs to acknowledge that and with Progress to Excellence it does. They’re flexible approach and quality delivery go hand-in-hand with our service, which is a 24/7 operation, 365 days a year.”

Damian Burdin, Chief Executive at Progress to Excellence Ltd commented:

“Our long-standing working relationship with Havencare allows their staff to gain deeper knowledge and skills within the care sector by studying one of our health and social care qualifications.

“Confidence then comes from them achieving a formal qualification which confirms their abilities, benefiting not only themselves and their future career prospects but also, most importantly, those people in their care.

“It’s why this approach to training works so well for this sector, as staff can really grow and develop whilst supporting service users. This is win-win for the learner and the employer.”

The Adult Care Worker Level 2 qualification is ideal for people who are just entering the health and social care sector or who might be working in care and want to work towards taking the next step in their career.

The Lead Adult Care Worker Level 3 qualification is for those working in a care setting already, maybe with some workplace responsibility.

Both the Level 2 and Level 3 awards can lead to career success in a wide range of care settings including residential care, community and private care, hospitals, domiciliary services such as home care and home help, supported living projects, community-based care and private care for an individual or family.

How an apprentice can improve productivity for businesses

A business employing apprentices can better plan for the future and fill industry skills gaps, with research showing that 25 per cent of former apprentices are promoted within 12 months of achieving their qualification.

Apprentices can deliver real returns to a business’ bottom line. A recent survey showed that 76 per cent of employers said apprentices helped them to improve productivity and to be more competitive, with the average apprenticeship improve productivity by £214 a week – that’s worth £11,000 a year.

Training apprentices, they agreed, is a cost-effective way of training staff. And with apprenticeships now being open to anyone aged 16-plus who meets the eligibility criteria, now has never been a better time to train staff via apprenticeships.

Progress to Excellence Ltd offers a full suite of health and social care and business-related qualifications to support the training needs of health and social care employers. For more information, call 0151-650 6933.

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