“With government initiatives and high levels of unemployment, apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular and we’re finding that clients hiring entry level candidates into apprenticeships are also finding that they drive up the standards provided in care,” says Martin Garratt, General Manager of BS Social Care.
An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. It includes on-the-job training and off-site learning. Training is tailored to meet the needs of the employer and the apprentice.
The demand for social care workers is projected to grow by 65%, to 2.6 million, by 2025. To meet that demand, the sector must make itself attractive, especially to young people, according to a report in the Guardian. It is believed that apprenticeships help make this an appealing career choice and provide avenues for advancement. They’re also a boon to employers and to the elderly beneficiaries, she says.
"Apprenticeships now have a much stronger brand and older people using the service say they feel reassured [about their level of care] because, by becoming an apprentice, they believe that the young person has taken a serious career route," the Guardian report states.
One employer who relies heavily on apprentices told the Guardian he sees the programme as a way to “grow his own” well-trained staff and ensure that his employees can deliver high-quality care. Martin Garratt, BS Social Care adds, “Even though apprenticeships are design for unqualified – and some times entry level – candidates, clients are still seeking the expertise of recruitment specialists to find the best fit for their teams, confident that the training and qualifications they provide will result in a long-term, committed member of staff.”
Skills for Care figures the number of people entering apprenticeships could double again over the next five years.