121 Care

When a Cumbrian care company wanted its employees to learn more about the role of a social care worker it turned to Lakes College for help.

Learners Charlotte Harper, Kelly Connell and Lesley Ann Hewitt, all worked for 121 Care in west Cumbria.

Their course – to understand more about the role of a social care worker – was undertaken through the Edge.

Lucy Deane, business account manager, at Lakes College, said: “This particular project was to work with a local care provider who was interested in a number of newly appointed employees undertaking training with the potential to progress to an apprenticeship programme.

“Social care generally has a turnover of staff so it is imperative that new starters to an organisation have a settling in period to understand the process of a care home.

“We wanted to help them upskill their members of staff and so we had discussions with 121 Care about this.”

The three ladies worked shift patterns and so it was imperative that trainers from Lakes College met regularly with them to ensure they didn’t fall behind on the work required.

Lucy said: “Training in health and social care is a big area for the college. We do other things like engineering and hairdressing but health and social care is an important subject.

“It can be a lot for a learner to take on new employment and a pre-apprenticeship but we supported this by appointing a very experienced training officer who has worked in the training care sector delivering apprenticeship programmes.”

It was important for the college to deliver ESF Edge training with the same training officer who would also deliver the apprenticeships.

Lucy said: “This gives consistency and makes sure that there is no duplication of work asked for the learners to complete. A rapport starts to build up from day one of intervention.”

The learners felt less daunted by a shorter credit pre-apprenticeship than immediately signing up for 18 months without knowing what it consisted of.

All three learners completed the programme, though they did have concerns about their functional skills – such as English and maths.

Lucy said: “The college was able to help them with this and they all went onto their apprenticeship programme.

“121 Care said productivity had improved and that the ladies had a lot more confidence as a result of the training.”