The Apprenticeship route into social care

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1 The Apprenticeship route into social care

2 A structured career path In today s challenging UK employment market, young people need the right education and marketable skills to progress their careers in a competitive world. With changes in the economy and constraints on education and training funding, the choice of career direction can be even more daunting for young people, the unemployed and those looking for a change in career. The Apprenticeship programme is fast becoming one of today s preferred structured careers routes. It addresses skills gaps, whilst creating employment opportunities across many sectors, particularly within social care. For teachers, careers advisers, parents and carers, distilling the large amounts of careers information available can prove to be a complex process. This brochure offers a straightforward insight into the growing Apprenticeship route, with a particular focus on adult social care. Apprenticeships are a hot topic. The government is one of the driving forces behind the scheme, so is making significant funding available to both public and private sector care organisations, which, in turn, creates greater entry level opportunities for those looking for a career in social care.

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4 Careers in social care Working in social care offers both challenges and rewards. Many work opportunities are available regardless of age, previous experience, training and education. The sector needs staff that are passionate and caring, who enjoy working with people and supporting their individual needs. Adult social care is about making a positive difference to people s lives by supporting their health and wellbeing, helping them to develop independent living and to maintain dignity. Skills for Care, in partnership with the Department of Health, actively promotes social care Apprenticeship programmes. Working closely with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), Skills for Care ensures that those employers that are interested in adult social care Apprenticeships get the help and advice they need. In turn, this opens up greater opportunities for potential apprentices. The Apprenticeship framework consists of: a vocational qualification which ensures the apprentice is practically skilled a knowledge qualification which gives apprentices knowledge and expertise about the sector and their work Transferable Skills, which include good standards of literacy and numeracy a component on Employment Rights and Responsibilities Personal Learning and Thinking Skills, identified as essential to successful life learning and work. Apprenticeships also have the scope for any specialist employer requirements to be included.

5 The Apprenticeship route Today, one of the principal routes for young people and adults into the social care sector is through an Apprenticeship scheme. It offers a combination of on and off the job learning leading to nationally recognised qualifications and is open to all ages. An Apprenticeship can vary in length and is tailored, dependent on the level of Apprenticeship and the apprentice s skills and previous experience. The Apprenticeship scheme offers the opportunity to learn whilst earning a salary. Experienced mentors and peers continuously support apprentices, whilst they acquire core job-related skills.

6 Benefits An Apprenticeship offers a number of benefits. Apprentices earn a salary, whilst receiving training, gaining qualifications and learning job-specific skills. Apprentices have the opportunity to take part in a structured development pathway and the chance to develop a rewarding, long-term career in the growing care sector. The Apprenticeship scheme can benefit both existing and new employees. Existing employees can start on an Apprenticeship as part of their continuing professional development, whereas new employees can be recruited straight onto an Apprenticeship programme from school, college or even another profession. Staff members that are indirectly involved in the delivery of social care can also participate on an Apprenticeship programme, for example through catering, housekeeping or administration Apprenticeships.

7 Social care Apprenticeships The Apprenticeship in adult social care is a framework of qualifications aimed at those who want to work in a social care environment, as well as adults and those in the sector who want to formalise their knowledge and gain new skills. Because of the broad range of qualifications included in the framework Apprenticeships provide a solid foundation for future management roles and career progression. Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeships, level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships and level 5 Higher Apprenticeships are available, depending on experience and the level at which apprentices are working. Intermediate offers entry level into the sector, Advanced includes some supervisory elements whilst Higher offers a further development route for managers and senior practitioners. Whilst Apprenticeships have traditionally been seen as better suited for school leavers, they are available for those already working in the care sector, maybe seeking an alternative career, or the unemployed. The Apprenticeship is ideal for those without any formal qualifications or experience, and for those considering an accessible route into the adult social care sector. It offers a supportive environment for apprentices to learn and fulfil their ambitions and to complete whichever level is suited to their career needs. Skills for Care and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have agreed a more flexible approach that allows 16 to 18-year olds to provide personal care as long as they are suitably trained and appropriately supervised.

8 Types of Apprenticeships The adult social care Apprenticeship covers a wide choice of job roles across both public and private sector care organisations. There are over 25 different job roles in social care, across a range of care settings. Adult social care is about helping people with a particular need, such as older people, adults with dementia and those with physical disabilities. This type of care usually takes place within the community at the individual s home or within care homes. It can include anything from helping people to get dressed, going shopping and offering domestic care. For the Intermediate Apprenticeship, job roles might include care workers, day care assistants and personal assistants. For the Advanced Apprenticeship, roles can include supervisory social care positions. For the Higher Apprenticeship, the roles are likely to be managerial positions including care home managers and managing directors. For further information about adult social care job roles, please visit:

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10 Oaklands Community Care s Apprenticeship success story Oliver Rutherford Apprentice the Apprenticeship programme has opened lots of doors for me After school Ollie didn t think that he would be studying again. He believes that being an apprentice is the ideal work-based route to a skilled occupation that s supported by ongoing work training.

11 The challenge Oliver Rutherford, known as Ollie, works at Derby-based Oaklands Community Care, a domiciliary care company that has been successfully delivering care and support services to people with learning disabilities and mental ill health for over 25 years. When Ollie left school at the age of 16, he was unclear about which career path to take. After a period spent in various short-term roles, he heard about the Apprenticeship scheme in care at Oaklands and realised that the opportunity was too good to miss. He was very excited at the prospect of being able to work and train, whilst being paid. Success Within six months of starting the Apprenticeship, Ollie attained a level 2 health and social care qualification, putting him in a good position to progress in his chosen career in care. He feels that the on-the-job mentoring and college support has been invaluable. Ollie realises that through continual training and hard work, he can go as far as possible in the care sector. He is already laying down plans to progress towards the next qualification when he starts his full-time, permanent position as project worker. For his future in care, Ollie is considering specialising in the area of mental health. The solution At the age of 18, Ollie started the Health and Social Care Apprenticeship at Oaklands, and believes that his career path has been completely transformed. The Apprenticeship offers him flexibility and the chance to work across different areas of the organisation, whether it s in the assessment unit or supporting individuals in their homes. Each day is different. Ollie s tasks vary and can include escorting people using the service to medical appointments, helping them to shop and cook, or just offering emotional support over a cup of tea. He feels a sense of achievement helping vulnerable adults back into the community and attending to their needs. Oliver Rutherford Apprentice

12 This document is part of Skills for Care's comprehensive range of resources that includes case studies and guides aimed at potential apprentices and employers considering adult social care Apprenticeships. Leaflets and posters are also available for teachers, career advisers, Year 9 pupils and school leavers. For more information about social care Apprenticeships and to access further resources, please visit: You can also see us online or get in touch via: YouTube Facebook Skills for Care West Gate 6 Grace Street Leeds LS1 2RP Telephone Skills for Care 2013

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