Surrey-based maritime care home, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, is celebrating the achievements of its successful apprenticeship scheme ahead of National Apprenticeship Week (9 – 13 March) 2015 by pledging to work with local colleges to provide students with care career opportunities.
The Society is urging more school leavers to consider a career in the care industry as a profession that offers not just personal rewards but also long term career development opportunities.
Royal Alfred, which has made links with local education establishments, will continue building relationships, to further improve the care it offers to residents, should there be any suitable candidates who wish to join an apprenticeship scheme at Royal Alfred.
According to the recently published Cavendish Review*, there are a limited number of people entering the industry and high staff turnover rates due to unsociable hours, the sometimes challenging nature of the job and limited opportunities for in-house training. This is deterring people from a career in care, and as the nation is currently developing ways to cope with an aging population, it is of growing importance to ensure the industry is prepared with more qualified nurses and care assistants.
The Society employs around 100 people, with many coming from and living in the surrounding area. The home began its apprenticeship scheme to ensure entry level employees, such as care assistants, catering and ancillary staff, have the chance to grow their skills as part of their contract.
The average rate of staff retention levels within the care sector is around 80 percent, but Royal Alfred is currently achieving 96 percent, due to its proactive apprenticeship scheme. The Society understands it is vital to offer people careers in the care industry by providing further education, resulting in enhanced salary rates and other benefits. A recent employee survey at the home shows 100 percent staff satisfaction with 92 percent of staff having completed or being the process of carrying out training for their relevant NVQs.
Lyndsey Neall, a Care Assistant at the Society, is currently studying for her level 3 in BTEC Diploma in Health and Social Care. She said: “I would more than recommend apprenticeship schemes to anyone looking into a career in the care industry. It’s inspiring to see the Royal Alfred team at work and what a rewarding job this can be. The residents and staff are a joy to be with on a daily basis and I feel lucky to work with the society.”
The Society has a ‘grow our own’ policy, proven successful by the Home Manager, Anne Kasey, who has been with the home for 30 years, joining as a staff nurse. In 2014, Anne was awarded the ‘care home registered manager’ award at the Nursing and Residential (NRC) awards for her exemplary commitment to the charity and its beneficiaries.
Anne Kasey commented: “The Society has recognised an opportunity for in house career development which has had an immensely positive effect on the team’s job satisfaction. It’s Royal Alfred and the care industry’s job as a whole to ensure we’re providing school and university leavers with the opportunity for not just jobs but long term careers in care. Offering NVQs, diplomas and further training is something we should all strive to do to continually improve the care we offer to our residents.”
National Apprenticeship Week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy and runs from Monday 9 March to Friday 13 March 2015.
Find out more about a career in care via the Skills for Care website – http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Care-careers/Starting-a-career-in-social-care/Starting-a-career-in-social-care.aspx
To find out more about career opportunities at The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society please visit the website: www.royalalfredseafarers.com and follow and like the official Society twitter (@RAseafarers) and Facebook pages.