Apprenticeships in Action - Sharon Stead from Care Plus Group
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO EMPLOY AN APPRENTICE/ APPRENTICES?
Care Plus Group (CPG) Employability Services supports the skills and worklessness agenda of Northern Lincolnshire, supporting local residents into training and employment via a multi award winning ‘pathway model’ of initiatives. CPG recognise the benefits apprentices can bring to an employer, therefore integrated apprenticeships within their recruitment strategy and employability pathway model. Employability Services also acts as a ‘training and recruitment hub’ enabling local businesses to recruit and ‘grow their own’ apprentices via the employability pathway model of initiatives.
PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE/ HIGHLIGHT
Sharon has worked within the skills and worklessness arena for over 15 years and has been instrumental in the development of the multi award winning Care Plus Group Employability Services ‘Pathway Model’ of initiatives which opens up a career pathway for disadvantaged unemployed people and school leavers. Sharon chairs the North East Lincolnshire Wide Employability Forum, bringing together multi- agencies who work collaboratively to upskill local residents and support them into sustainable employment. Sharon is the chair of the Humber LEP Employment and Skills Board Health and Social Care working group and works to continually develop innovative solutions to address the current and future skills gap within the health and social care sector, including increasing apprenticeships. Sharon is a keen supporter of This Ability, the Humber’s campaign to raise employer’s awareness of the skills and talents of people with a learning difficulty or disability.
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE BENEFITS OF APPRENTICES IN YOUR BUSINESS
o Cost effective recruitment method o Supports succession planning and an aging workforce o Loyal employees, increasing productivity and supporting retention rates o Opportunity to ‘grow your own’ and fill the skills gap o Upskill the existing workforce o Innovative ideas, transferable skills and professionalism from young AND mature apprentices
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF OFFERING AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME OVER OTHER TRAINING OR EDUCATION?
Sharon says: “I am a strong believer that apprenticeship opportunities ‘change’ people’s lives and advance social mobility.
Apprenticeships offer a kick start to a career for people of ALL ages and abilities while enabling them to access the ‘world of work’. Furthermore allowing individuals to earn a wage while working towards a recognised qualification. Apprenticeships are a recruitment strategy opportunity for employers to unlock local talent and recruit to a diverse workforce, support the skills gap, while also upskilling staff with coaching and mentoring skills.