Two apprentices are starting at a care home in Chesterfield this week after it launched an apprenticeship scheme to mark Care Home Open Day.

Shannon Sharrod and Nicola Allen are the first apprentices to join Heather Vale in Heather Vale Road.

Anchor has chosen to launch the scheme at Heather Vale because staff there have continued to provide top quality care.

The home scored highly in the Your Care Rating survey where residents at the home filled in a questionnaire as part of a national survey, run by Ipsos MORI, of 21,000 care home residents from more than 1,000 homes across the country.

The areas where the home scored highly in the Your Care Rating survey were: Heather Vale is safe and secure and a clean and tidy place to live where the staff treat the residents with kindness, dignity and respect.

The apprenticeship scheme is one way Anchor is addressing the shortfall of the estimated 718,000 carers needed by 2025 to meet the demands of the country’s ageing population. An unprecedented number of men are needed to bridge the gap. [1]

Shannon, 19, whose first experience of care was when she looked after her granddad and nan, said: “I wanted a job in the care sector for a long time and this is a great way to get my foot in the door and hopefully start my career.

“I’m looking forward to learning lots about good quality care and becoming a qualified carer. I can’t wait to meet the residents and their families as well as other staff. Now is my chance to look after others and help them.”

Shannon and Nicola were at a special ceremony in London with Anchor’s Head of Training Anita Cunningham on 19 June where they receivee one day’s induction.
Heather Vale Manager Debbie Clayton said she was thrilled to have been chosen to pilot the apprenticeship scheme.

She said: “As Anchor, which runs Heather Vale, is a not-for-profit organisation, we spend a lot of money on training our staff so the apprenticeship scheme is an extension of this.

“It is important apprentices learn good practice from care staff who are committed to providing top quality care and that is why we were chosen to train Shannon and Nicola.

“As part of this year’s Care Home Open Day, we are inviting members of the community, particularly those who want to find out about working in the care sector, to visit us.

“Anchor is looking to fill more than 2,000 job vacancies this year. Applicants don’t need to have worked in the care sector before but we are looking for candidates who are passionate about providing top quality care and who have an empathy with older people.

“Comprehensive training will be provided. This is an opportunity for a career where you can do well by doing good.”

Any job hunters wanting to find out more about a career in care, can visit or phone Debbie Clayton, Manager of Heather Vale, on 01246 221569.

[1] Approximately 1 million extra care workers are needed in England by 2025 to meet expected demand as well as the continuing unmet need (extrapolated from Skills for Care projections under a “maximising choices” scenario and measures of unmet need based on the Health Survey for England).However, the number of people of working age is expected to increase by just 2.5 million over this period (ONS 2012 Principal Population Projections for England). To fill the labour supply gap would therefore require a large proportion (40%) of those joining the working age population to enter the care workforce. Currently however, the number of men working in health and social care across the UK equates to just 4.2% of the working age male population. For women this figure is higher at 15.5% (ONS all in employment by industry sector and ONS 2012 population estimates). Assuming gender specific rates of employment in the care sector continue for those who reach working age, and there is no increase in the numbers of older workers joining the care sector, England could face a shortfall of 718,000 care workers by 2025.

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