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You’re hired! Apprentices celebrate new career

Alan Smart, 17 from Pennywell, Philip Foster, Sunderland Care and Support’s chief operating officer, Richard Mills, 26 from Thorney Close, Emma Davison, 19 From Ryhope, Marc Carrick, 22 from Seaham, Rebecca Davison, 23 from Hylton Castle, Iain Nixon, Sunderland College’s executive director of commercial activity, Elizabeth Barron, 20 from Penshaw, and Jess Cowe, 18 from Millfield

Twelve apprentices are celebrating after gaining full-time positions thanks to a successful partnership between Sunderland College and Sunderland Care and Support.

The health and social care apprentices, who have just completed a year-long training scheme with the two organisations, have been appointed as support workers.

They will be working across a range of services for people with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and mental health needs, and will be responsible for their day-to-day care.

Sunderland Care and Support is one of the largest providers of health and social care in the region, and the 12 new permanent recruits will join the company’s 1,250-strong team.

Seventeen-year-old Alan Smart, from Pennywell, has just been appointed to his new role after completing his health and social care apprenticeship, which combines on-the-job training and a programme of study.

He said: “I really enjoyed my apprenticeship – it was a great way to experience all aspects of the health and social care sector and gain a qualification at the same time. The college tutors were so supportive and they were there to guide me every step of the way. I have now achieved my goal of gaining a full time job at this great organisation – I couldn’t be happier.”

Sunderland College and Sunderland Care and Support have been working together since 2004 and earlier this year signed a strategic agreement to ensure all staff have access to high quality college-delivered training and qualifications.

They are currently training 60 apprentices and are launching a new recruitment campaign to take on another 17 apprentices in health and social care and catering roles in the run-up to Christmas.

Sunderland Care and Support is increasing its front-line staff to provide additional help for the 6,000 vulnerable people who use its services every week.

The company provides a wide range of services including intermediate care, day care, short breaks, telecare and support to enable people to live at home in their community.

Philip Foster, Sunderland Care and Support’s chief operating officer, said: “We strongly believe in investing in our workforce and attracting more people into social care. Working in partnership with Sunderland College, we see our apprentices as the skilled workers we need for the future. We are delighted to see so many of our apprentices develop and secure job roles within the company.”

Sunderland College provides a comprehensive training programme for Sunderland Care and Support staff, including health and social care, business administration and catering apprenticeships, English and maths qualifications, vocational and Continuing Professional Development training, and IT training.

Iain Nixon, executive director for commercial activity at Sunderland College, said: “The appointment of 12 apprentices to full-time positions within Sunderland Care and Support demonstrates the company’s commitment to both its workforce and service users.

“We are very pleased to play an important role in the training of their staff which ensures people living in Sunderland and the surrounding areas receive an outstanding quality of care. Over the past year we have tripled the number of health and social apprentices we train, and we are continually looking to expand the programmes we offer in this sector to meet the needs of employers as well as helping to deliver the government’s three million apprenticeships target.”

To find out more about the apprentices on offer and to apply, contact Sunderland College’s apprenticeship team at apprenticeships@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk or call 0191 5116484.

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