Skills for Care

Graduate Management learners putting learning into practice during the pandemic

02 Oct 2020

2 min read

The ninth cohort of health and social care Graduate Management learners have now completed their demanding one-year programme and have been putting their learning into practice during the pandemic.

The Graduate Management programme was developed in partnership between Skills for Care, the NHS Leadership Academy and supported by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The programme is designed to fast-track graduates towards leadership roles in a wide range of settings, and this year the graduates were tested to their limits as they all played their part in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

All the graduates completed a rigorous values-based selection process to make sure they had the right core values and motivations needed to work in social care and health. They were then matched with host organisations across England who mentored the graduates through a tough programme where they gained industry standard qualifications in leadership and management.

Since its launch in 2009, over 140 graduates have completed the programme with many already working in senior leadership roles. Usually the19 graduates would celebrate at a graduation ceremony in London, but pandemic restrictions meant they had to share the experiences and knowledge they’ve gained virtually.

Oonagh Smyth, Skills for Care CEO said,

Our graduate programme is demanding enough at the best of times but the unique challenges of the pandemic have tested every one of them in different ways which makes their achievements doubly impressive. I was able to join their virtual graduation and told them despite all the challenges they’ve faced they will have learned a lot about themselves and their leadership style especially in the unique circumstances of the last few months. I am deeply grateful to all our host organisations who despite all the pressures presented by COVID-19 continued support the graduates through every stage of the programme.

The 19 graduates who completed the programme and their host organisations were:

Graduate Host Organisation
Aarushi Vaidya Curado
Alexa Kerr-Dineen Care City
Anna O'Gara Home from Home
Caroline Jones London Borough of Newham
Charlotte Shacklady Cheshire East
Emily Bowering Middleton Hall
Fiona Cook The Grange Centre
Harjeevan Dhaliwal Gloucestershire County Council
Jemima Churchhouse Cheshire East
Kate Sanders Persona
Kesha Dhananjee Wijetunge Salutem
Lucy Appleby Coventry City Council
Luke Parry CIC – Community Integrated Care
Madalina Pop London Borough of Newham
Poppy Pike Cheshire East
Portia Carney-Stott Spectrum
Shauna Winfield Home from Home
Temilolu Ogunjimi Essex County Council
Victoria Church Milton Keynes City Council

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