Feb 20

Upholding an outstanding reputation

Posted: 4 February 2020

Vince-250-x-250pxHendra House is a small non-levy paying, family-run residential home with under 50 staff. They have been committed to helping people both young and old from 16 to 61-year olds since 2003. They continually uphold an “outstanding” CQC rating and have just been announced as winners of the ‘Best employer of under 50 staff’ in the Skills for Care 2020 Accolades alongside many other awards for their dedication to staff development and the sector. Their reputation has led to them having a waiting list for the past seven years to join the organisation.

We spoke to Vince Burmingham, owner and training manager at Hendra House. He talked about the Hendra ‘earn and learn’ model which gives their apprentices job security from day one as they get to learn whilst being employed. This has resulted in high retention of staff that feel valued.

Was there a specific reason you decided to go down the apprenticeship route?

We want every single member of staff to do an apprenticeship as it’s so important for employee satisfaction and motivation to feel like there’s the opportunity to develop saleable skills and work in a role they’re happy in. We’ve had 18 apprentices go on to become nurses.

How have you supported your apprentices?

We offer placements for people from schools or colleges so some of our apprentices can be quite young and require extra support which care manager Lindsey, has been a strong point of contact for. Additionally, if they’re 16, you must consider legally what tasks they can do so that they’re operating in a safe environment. On the flip side, older apprentices may require different support such as retaking GSCEs in Maths and English because they left school at a young age. We believe wholly in our own judgement of a person’s potential regardless of their background or formal education.

What has been the best thing about taking on apprentices as an employer?

Succession planning! There’s been a seamless transfer of trainees becoming team leaders and managers with six out of eight senior managers coming through our apprenticeship programme. We also operate a ‘buy their hand, win their heart’ policy at Hendra where all the staff are paid a full working wage from day one, this means we’ve had a lot of loyalty and commitment with no bank staff needed.

How did you select your learning provider?

We’ve had the same learning provider since day one. They’ve excellent minimum standards and a great assessor. I would say have a clear idea of what you’re looking for when you set out, speak to different companies and make sure they uphold these three key areas; learning, communication and dialogue. It’s an important bit to get right as they’re supporting the apprentice as well.

What advice would you give to other employers who may be thinking about taking on an apprentice?

Do it. Without our apprentice programme we wouldn’t be eligible for the Accolades we have received as well as carrying an outstanding CQC rating for the past six years running.

Hendra House is an example of an organisation encouraging highly skilled and competent workers which is essential to delivering a high quality of care. To learn more about how apprenticeships can deliver positive care outcomes within your service see our apprenticeship section. You can also visit our National Apprenticeship Week 2020 page to hear more inspiring stories.