Learning and development is an important part of supporting our teams at Care UK.

We recognise the talent within our teams and work to ensure that their professional aspirations are a top priority.

A large part of this is our successful programme of apprenticeships and, this National Apprenticeship Week, we wanted to share stories of colleagues who have benefitted from learning on the job.

We offer apprenticeships within 16 different areas. These include IT and Business Systems, Care Home Development, Finance, Facility Management, Care, Recruitment, and Food and Hotel Services, to name just a few.

There is a myth that apprenticeships are only for younger people who are finishing their formal education, but this could not be further from the truth. Apprenticeships can benefit everyone, regardless of age and, at Care UK, our most mature apprentice is 67 years old. As of 2024, seven of Care UK’s apprentices are over the age of 60, proving it is never too late to start learning something new.

As of February 2024, there are over 620 colleagues enrolled in an apprenticeship.

In 2023, 132 colleagues passed their chosen apprenticeship programs, and in January this year alone, we have seen more than 30 colleagues take the next step towards progressing their careers by committing to additional learning.

An example of this is Toby Sturgess, Home Manager at Lonsdale Mews:

When asking Toby his thoughts on apprenticeships he said: “I think it’s a great opportunity to develop their skills; we have a lot of colleagues that have progressed from being a care assistant to team leader and having that qualification gives them the skills and knowledge to take that step. The apprenticeship courses ensure they have the confidence to do it and gives them the right skills and knowledge.”

Toby recently completed his Level 5 Leader in Adult Care apprenticeship. Speaking about his experience he said: “I’ve become more analytical and more strategic. My role is to lead the home and to look at all aspects of that.  I manage a wide team of different departments, so you must look at different styles of supporting people and their different ways of working. Completing my Level 5 really helped me to look at planning and managing around the home differently.”

Pinky, a Unit Manager at the same home, is currently enrolled in a Level 5 Leadership apprenticeship, added: “I have learned so much about management and the financial side of things. I know the care side of Care UK, as I have my Level 3 apprenticeship in care, but my Level 5 learning has exposed me to other things that I would not have thought about before.” If an opportunity to progress into a deputy home manager arose, Pinky would now be qualified to step up to this role due to the knowledge gained during her apprenticeship.

Suzannah Tullet, Home Manager at Scarlett House was asked about her career progression, and she said: “I joined Care UK in 2017 as a care assistant. Within 6 months I was put forward for the team leader apprenticeship programme and I passed that within a year. I then become a senior team leader and, shortly after, a unit manager.”

“I knew I wanted to continuing progressing, so I enrolled onto a future deputy programme, which I then completed alongside my Level 5 apprenticeship in Care. After this I became a deputy manager at Care UK’s Winchcombe Place where I stayed for a year, before applying for my Home Manager position at Scarlett House.”

You don’t have to be a team leader or a home manager to complete an apprenticeship. Other colleagues currently taking part across Care UK are in many different roles, including Greg Drew – Housekeeper at Cavell Court, Katarzyna Haber-Bialowkska – Second Chef at Highmarket House, and Jack Appleton – Kitchen Assistant at Hartismere Place.

Care UK is now offering an Adult Nursing Support Worker apprenticeship for the first time. This Level 3 apprenticeship is focused on clinical healthcare and ensures that team leaders or aspiring team leaders can better support registered nurses to deliver first class clinical care to the residents we support.

If you think a career in care alongside our passionate apprentices could be for you, please visit our careers page –https://www.careuk.com/careers