A pioneering care organisation has struck gold for the support it gives to students and those looking for a career in the sector.
Pendine Park Care Organisation won the gold award from Careers Wales after demonstrating its commitment to helping students prepare for their future careers.
They were among more than 40 companies from across Wales who attended the glittering awards ceremony in Cardiff hosted by former BBC news anchor Sara Edwards.
According to Careers Wales, Pendine Park are excellent role models in the way they train their staff.
Last year they opened a new training complex when they invested £1 million in massively refurbishing the 8,000 square foot building on Wrexham Technology Park where they are training the social care professionals of the future.
Pride of place goes to the Pendine Academy of Social Care which includes a ground-breaking new virtual training centre featuring totally realistic recreations of a residents’ lounge, bedroom and dining area.
The organisation has eight care homes in Wrexham and Caernarfon and employs more than 800 staff.
Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE said: “We are passionate about the training and personal development of all our staff. It is in our DNA and something we have concentrated on since we embarked on this journey more than 30 years ago.
“We were the first nursing home in the United Kingdom to be awarded ISO 9002, or British Standard 5750 as it was known then.
“Meaningful work-based learning and partnerships with organisations like Careers Wales are a vital part of the success we achieve.”
Administration practitioner Rosie Quayle said: “We are all so proud to have won this award and we see it as a reward for all the hard work we have put in.
“We have attended moiré than 25 Careers Wales events this year alone offering advice to students and explain just what a rewarding career can be enjoyed working in the care sector.
“We visit high schools and colleges to show and promote the varied careers that are available in the care sector. We want to inspire people to give care a try as a really fulfilling career opportunity.”
She added: “We even used a 360 degree camera to film a care home interior and help dispel some myths about what a care home is really like. We filmed not only a day and bedroom but the kitchens and gardens too giving people a real insight into what a care home actually looks like.”
Lead trainer Claire Taylor added: “We do a great deal of work with Careers Wales and it’s important that we do so. Many young people just don’t realise the career opportunities that are open to them.
“It’s not just about becoming a care practitioner. There are roles to be enjoyed in catering, housekeeping, gardening, accounts and many more. The sheer volume of available careers is breath-taking.”
“And it’s important that students realise how we work as a team. If we are to give the best care possible we have to work as a team, there is no other way.
“I hope that we have inspired many young people at the Careers Wales events that we have attended and I hope to see some of them forging successful careers in the care sector.”
Nikki Lawrence, Careers Wales Chief Executive says the Valued Partner Award recognises the important contribution made by businesses who consistently step up to support the workforce of tomorrow by participating in Careers Wales facilitated activities in schools throughout Wales.
He said: “This is the first time we have hosted an event for our Valued Partners and the reception has been amazing.
“Celebrating businesses who have gone above and beyond to help spread our message and provide young people with a platform of opportunity and guidance is essential to our work.
“We hosted this award ceremony to show our gratitude to our Valued Partners and to recognise that we value their support everyday – this is our way of saying thank you and we hope all of the companies will continue their vital work with students.”