Skills For Care Welcomes Successful Apprenticeship Trailblazer Bid

Skills for Care has welcomed the announcement by Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills and Equalities, that the Adult Care Apprenticeship Trailblazer group have had two standards approved for the adult social care sector in England.

It is the culmination of months of hard work by the Trailblazer group of employers, headed by Helen Wilcox, Managing Director of Woodford Homecare and Support Services, in devising the standards.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “I congratulate members of the Adult Care Trailblazer on their involvement in designing the new apprenticeship standards, which we have published today. I am proud to say that through working with leading employers, we have now reached our target of creating two million apprentices since 2010. However two million is just the start. I want more employers to follow suit and start making apprentices a key part of their growth strategy.”

The Trailblazer group is comprised of a representative mixture of the public and private sector, individual, small and large employers, residential, domiciliary and community care providers. The group members are Woodford Homecare and Support Services, Barchester Healthcare, CareTech, Creative Support, the GDMA Group, Hand in Hands, Hendra House (Ludlow) Ltd, Hertfordshire County Council, Housing Plus, Oxfordshire County Council, Surrey County Council and the West of England Council for Inclusive Living (WECIL). Housing and Care 21 were also involved in the first stages of the development.

Helen Wilcox, Managing Director, Woodford Homecare said:  “Employers will welcome this recognition of the importance of apprenticeships in developing the skills and knowledge of the adult care workforce that will help those workers develop long term and rewarding careers supporting people who need care and support in our communities.

“Employers have played the lead role in developing these standards so that they are fit for purpose, and we can now be confident we can continue to deliver quality apprenticeships in a vibrant and growing sector.”

The two standards approved are Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker and have been identified as training staff to QCF levels 2 and 3 respectively so work is now beginning on producing an assessment strategy for apprentices undertaking these Standards.

This strategy will need to be submitted for approval either in February or June 2015. A number of awarding organisations and learning providers, chosen from a list of supporters who declared themselves during the original application to be a Trailblazer, are involved. Once the assessment strategy is approved, planning can begin for delivery of the first Apprenticeships under the Standard.

Permission to develop two further standards has been given by government which are Lead Practitioner in Adult Care and Leader or Manager in Adult Care that have been identified as training staff to QCF levels 4 and 5 respectively. Work is now beginning on these and they will need to be submitted for approval either in February or June 2015.

Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “We have been delighted to be asked to play a supporting role to the project and anticipate playing a future role in engaging employers with the new standards to maintain the already high levels of Apprenticeship take-up across the adult care sector.”