It is the 10th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week and events are taking place across the country 6th – 13th March.
The week will highlight the success of apprenticeships over the last decade, celebrating the positive impact on individuals, businesses and the economy. This year’s theme is “ the ladder of opportunity”, emphasising the importance of progression through the qualification levels from Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.
Learner of the Year 2016/17 – Richard McFarlane
Richard works for Wirral Autism Together and was apprehensive about starting an apprenticeship. Richard has shown a real drive to achieve his qualifications and is extremely proud of his achievement. This is his story.
“In 2012 I had a stroke, which left me partially sighted along with other cognitive problems, a few months after starting work as a support worker for Autism Together, thankfully they kept my job open for me after nearly a year off sick, as I would not have been able to return to my previous career as a taxi driver and lorry driver which I did for over 30 years.
I was given the opportunity to do the Advanced Apprenticeship in Social Care. At the age of 52 I was a bit unsure if I wanted to do it or if I was capable of learning, but I surprised myself, I found it challenging but interesting.
I received excellent support from my assessor Carrie Butters who was very patient and took the time to answer any questions, especially with the Maths and English. Carrie was an organised and excellent mentor.
Completing the apprenticeship has given me confidence to do my job and made me think about my role as a support worker and the decisions I make when supporting service users”
Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2016/17 (Large Organisations) – Leonard Cheshire Oakwood
Corrine Waters and her senior team have shown outstanding commitment in supporting their staff undertaking apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced and higher levels. The work environment is challenging as it is a specialist service supporting individuals with an acquired brain injury. They purchased resources to support learning and provided support to individuals to enable them to complete work set, which has kept learners on target hence the dedication to completing their qualifications. Some of the support team have progressed and been promoted to a Senior role as they have developed more skills and Knowledge with in their role taking on more responsibility.
They have supported the assessors when in the building and made sure each learner attends their agreed appointment. They have excellent communication with all parties involved ie learner, seniors, assessor and management. Corrine has always been dedicated in enabling staff to learn and develop as it is essential for them to have the confidence and ability to support the clients.
Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2016/17 (SME) – Choice Care
Choice Care is domiciliary company based in Blackburn that provides support with aspects of daily living for individuals living in the surrounding area. Choice Care has achieved the award of SME Employer of the Year 2017 due to the Manager’s and company`s commitment to training and development of the staff team.
There is an expectation amongst all staff that they undertake and achieve their intermediate apprenticeship in Social Care. The company ensures that staff are supported to attend all necessary appointments and rotas are managed effectively around this. The Manager is closely involved in the progression and achievement of staff and on a daily basis communicates with the assessor on the progress of learners. Any problems are dealt with effectively and instantly—resulting in no loss of time or support for the learners.
All staff are encouraged and supported to progress further in their learning and many have progressed onto the advanced apprenticeship, with some being promoted and undertaking the higher apprenticeship.
Choice Care believes in supporting their staff in developing and recognising the efforts that are put in. They hold an annual Awards Evening at the local football ground, with a 3 course meal and entertainment provided as a thank you to the hard work, commitment and quality care that is provided. Awards are given related to the quality of care provided, feedback received from individuals, and the passion shown within their role. A member of staff is chosen as “Carer of the Year” and automatically entered into the national competition