A North East care provider and college have reached a milestone in their partnership, after chalking up their 200th successful apprenticeship.
Sunderland Care and Support, Sunderland City Council’s former adult services department, has been working with Sunderland College to bring through the next generation of talent. The Sunderland based company, which delivers support to people with a wide range of health and social needs, started working with the college only two years ago, and has already recruited 200 apprentices, with many of them going on to be offered a full-time job.
The partnership is one that the two organisations hope to grow, with plans to work more closely to meet the needs of the care sector in the future.
Philip Foster, chief operating officer at Sunderland Care and Support, said: “We have been working with the college on our apprenticeship programme for two years, and the support they have offered to help us realise our ambitions as a business has been fantastic. It’s great to reach such a significant milestone together, and is a sign of the strength of the relationship we have built.
“We have been able to develop a really strong talent pool, with skilled, well-rounded young people joining the team and bringing with them unique skills that will help us to deliver a high level of care to people in Sunderland for generations.
“Our team is built on great people, and in working with the college, we have been able to bring through the brightest new talent – people who are absolutely committed to delivering the best care to adults with specific health and social care needs, helping them to live the best life possible with our support.”
He added: “It’s not only front-line staff. The college has supported us with back-office and administrative staff too, which has been a tremendous help.”
The college’s relationship with Sunderland Care and Support means that both organisations are up to date with the latest developments in their respective industries.
Mr Foster, who has been at the helm of Sunderland Care and Support since it become a stand-alone entity in 2013, said: “The team at the college can share with us all of the latest developments in terms of legislation that might affect us, like the apprentice levy for instance, and we in turn share the latest developments that might impact the subjects they cover, so the relationship works extremely well and keeps us both ahead of the game.
“We’re delighted with the support we have had from the college, and look forward to working with them in future to ensure that Sunderland Care and Support remains an organisation that invests in its workforce for the benefit of all of the people in the city who need our help.”
Ellen Thinnesen, principal and chief executive of Sunderland College, which is one of largest apprenticeship providers in the region, said that the close relationship with Sunderland Care and Support is providing opportunities for the next generation of healthcare professionals.
She said: “Healthcare is a sector in which there will always be a significant need, and it is important that we develop people who can meet the needs of the public, as well as the back of office support essential to the organisation and administration of the service.
“With a huge range of apprenticeship courses, we are able to supply skilled, bright minds across a range of subject areas, meaning we are effectively a one-stop-shop for organisations in the health and social care sector. This has allowed us to build a strong relationship with many organisations in the North East that may well be looking for apprentices, or may wish to top-up the skills and qualifications of existing teams.”