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National Care Group unveils training and apprenticeship programme to tackle skills gap

Claire Leak

The National Care Group has set up a new academy and apprenticeship programme to provide career opportunities for the next generation of care workers.

The Academy and Support Worker Apprenticeship programme has 24 paid positions available and offers candidates the opportunity to learn on the job and gain care qualifications at the same time.

Successful applicants will work alongside colleagues across the company’s services, including residential care, supported living, home support and day services, to deliver person-centred support for adults with learning disabilities, mental health illness and complex needs.

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Claire Leake, people director at National Care Group, said: “A career in care can often be overlooked by younger generations, however, we are determined to change the narrative through the National Care Group Academy. Through a combination of practical on-the-job experience and academic learning, it will equip individuals for a promising career, molding them into well-rounded carers.

“We’ve watched apprenticeships grow rapidly in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. By allowing individuals to learn in a practical way, at the same time as gaining a qualification, they can develop into exceptional colleagues who will thrive when placed in a working environment. This not only benefits our teams but the individuals undertaking the apprenticeships as they’re better prepared for real-life situations.”

According to a recent report by Skills for Care, the current vacancy rate for adult social care roles in England is more than 7.3%, with more than a quarter of those being aged 55 or above.

Leake added: “There’s no doubt that we need more young people coming into the sector but, most importantly, we want to make sure we’re hiring the right person for the role. Often people can be nervous about putting themselves forward for a career in care due to their academic performance, but this is a common misconception.

“There are no academic requirements to become an apprentice at the Academy. Instead, the ideal candidate is based on personal attributes, including being eager to learn, hardworking, instinctively caring and flexible. All of these traits form the basis of a successful carer within National Care Group.

“It’s a really exciting time to be starting a career in adult social care, and we are committed to ensuring young people entering their careers are supported in the best way possible, through good pay, working conditions and the opportunity to progress. We’re thrilled to finally be at the stage where we can meet potential candidates and give them that all-important first step in the world of work.”

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke