Graduation success for young carers

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Young Chesterfield carers have received certificates at a special ceremony to mark the completion of their one-year apprenticeships.

Nichola Allen, 17, and Shannon Sharrod, 20, who work at Heather Vale care home in Heather Vale Road, have been offered a full-time job as part of Anchor’s apprenticeship.

Nine other apprentices who joined the scheme in June last year also have permanent roles with Anchor, which is England’s largest not-for- profit provider of care and housing for older people.

The scheme has been so successful that Anchor expanded the scheme with 28 apprentices enlisting in March this year. The company is now recruiting 16-to-24 year olds for this year’s programme, with 50 places up for grabs.

Nichola said: “Working in care is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve learned a lot over the past year and I feel already I have made a positive contribution to the lives of older people. I really enjoy my job.”

Katie Rankin, Anchor’s qualifications and apprenticeships manager, praised Nichola and Shannon for their commitment to improving the lives of older people.

She said: “The quality of apprentices coming through this programme has been outstanding. The young talent coming into our care homes through this programme has helped to invigorate our business and the lives of our residents. We are so proud to see how they are progressing and look forward to welcoming our new apprentices.”

The apprenticeship scheme is one of the initiatives Anchor has adopted to help professionalise the care sector and to address the predicted 718,000 shortfall of carers by 2025. The scheme has been shortlisted in the Youth Employment Initiative category in the Personnel Today Awards 2016.

The ceremony also marked Anchor being placed 49th in the AllAboutSchoolLeavers top 100 employers of school and college leavers list.

Katie added: “We beat big players with long established apprenticeship programmes. We have done phenomenally well to get in the top 50 before even completing our first year.”

For more information visit: careerincare.org/apprenticeships.