Posted: 7 February 2020
Lifeways Group, an apprenticeship levy payer, is one of the UK’s leading providers of support services for people with diverse and often complex needs. Over 11,000 staff are employed across the UK supporting approximately 5,500 people everyday. They currently provide learning opportunities for Adult Care Worker (level 2), Lead Adult Care Worker(level 3), and Leader in Adult Care (level 5) and are looking at a range of other qualifications for support functions within the organisation such as operations / departmental manager, digital learning design, and regulatory compliance officer
We spoke with Jane Manton, Group Head of Workforce Development, who supports learning and development across the organisation. She spoke to us about the importance of ‘robust qualifications’ in the sector and how apprenticeships have offered equal opportunities to employees of every age within the organisation.
Why are apprenticeships important within your organisation?
We are in a sector where qualifications are important. We want all of our staff to be highly qualified to provide the best quality care and this is sponsored by the Executive team.
How did you decide who could do an apprenticeship?
We have an application process in place. A staff member and their line manager will complete three questions in line with what they want to achieve and what difference it will make to the people they support which is then reviewed in relation to the levy pot balance.
What has worked well for you?
For those working in supportive roles rounded learning is absolutely essential. The qualifications gained as part of the apprenticeship compliment their existing training and give them more confidence which leads to a higher quality of care.
What should employers expect when taking on apprentices?
You must be prepared to develop strong mentorship skills so you can support not just the apprentice but also your managers that may not be used to apprenticeship-style learning.
How did you find the right learning provider?
There are lots of strong indications. Look at their ratings, speak to their current customers and make sure they offer an employer-led qualification structure. Our learning provider knows us well in terms of process and really works to our specifications. We have quarterly performance meetings for apprenticeships to assess performance on both sides.
One word to summarise your experience of having an apprentice?
Inspirational - you learn so much from them.
Lifeways is an example of an organisation that keeps the quality of care their staff deliver at the heart of their apprenticeship offering. 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.