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

Paige Matthews, Shardi Smile and Jade Barrs are the first apprentices to join Norton House in Arneway Street.

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

Norton House has been rated as good by regulator The Care Quality Commission. It also 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: residents said they were happy living at Norton House, which was clean and tidy and where they were happy with the care they received.

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.

Shardi, 23, whose first experience of care was helping her nan with shopping and cleaning, said: “I love caring for people and want to make a difference to the lives of Norton House’s residents. I want to give something back to them, and learn from them.

“The apprenticeship will help me learn new skills and do a qualification while looking after older people.”

Jade, 19, who enjoyed studying health and social care at school, added her first experience of care had been looking after her nan.

She said: “I’m looking forward to starting work at the home so I can do my bit, continuing to make the residents happy.”  

The trio were at a special ceremony in London with Anchor’s Head of Training Anita
Cunningham on 19 June where they received one day’s induction.

Norton House Manager Felicia Imafidon said she was thrilled to have been chosen to pilot the apprenticeship scheme.

She said: “As Anchor, which runs Norton House, 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 Paige, Shardi and Jade.

“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 www.anchor.org.uk/careers or phone Felicia Imafidon, Manager of Norton House, on 020 7976 7681.

[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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