DOMICILARY care provider Wales England Care Ltd says apprenticeships are integral to its growth plans after improving performance and quality and reducing staff turnover.

In the past year, the Newport-based company says its Apprenticeship Programme has contributed to a 57% increase in sales and a 98% client approval rating by improving skills, confidence and efficiency and reducing costs, resulting in a 177% rise in nett income.

Staff turnover fell from 68% to 16% – January to September last year – since apprenticeships were introduced and the number of care hours delivered weekly has increased from 200 to 1,000 hours since 2017.

Now the company has been shortlisted for the Small Employer of the Year award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.

Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Focused on delivering high quality care, Wales England Care currently has 13 apprentices working towards Apprenticeships in Health and Social Care at Levels 2 to 5.

Training is delivered by sister company, Wales England Care Training, supplemented by in-house training courses, with each apprentice assigned an experienced mentor.

Holder of the Investors in People silver accreditation, Wales England Care has a workforce of 42 and managing director Kim Churcher, a former apprentice herself, is determined to highlight the importance and value of care professionals.

She engages with other businesses in the sector to promote the benefits of apprenticeships and share good practice.

Working closely with Wales England Care Training, the company has embedded apprenticeships throughout the organisation from bottom to top and has introduced a Leaders of the Future programme for career progression.

“The Apprenticeship Programme is now firmly embedded into the organisation and will continue to be at the forefront of our strategic business planning,” said Christopher Churcher, Wales England Care’s finance director. “We will be looking to develop the programme further.”

Helen Harris, Wales England Care Training quality manager, said: “Wales England Care has ambitious growth plans both regionally and throughout the UK and is committed to using the Apprenticeship Programme to ensure that everyone is qualified to the minimum standards and to allow progression from within.”

Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “Our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes are helping people fulfil their career ambitions and I’m delighted we have already reached our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this Senedd term. 

“This has been key in helping apprentices of all ages to gain important skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need. This will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of all involved, from star apprentices to skilled learning providers.

“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists announced for this year’s event and wish each and every one all the best for the future.”

Picture caption:

Business development director Siobhan Carey, registered manager Diane Morgan and operations director Moyra Kearney from Wales England Care Training, where apprenticeships are integral to growth plans.