Sirona Care and Health is a not-for-profit social enterprise which provides publically funded community health and adult social care services to people in Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire and surrounding areas. They’ve been working with learndirect for the past two years to bring fresh talent into the business through Apprenticeships as well as developing their existing staff in areas including health and social care, IT, business administration and catering.
Karen Gleave, Learning and Development Facilitator at Sirona said: “Training is integral to our workforce. It’s really important that everybody is competent and has the skills to enable us to meet the needs of the community we serve to the best of our ability. We’re keen to develop staff who understand our ethos so we needed a training programme where the learning is managed and delivered on site”.
“We started offering Apprenticeships through learndirect two years ago and recruited seven young apprentices last year who are now in full time employment with us. This year we’ve increased this to an intake of eighteen and we hope to keep these on at the end of their Apprenticeship too.
“We are passionate about employing young people to ensure a wide range of experience across the organisation. We really believe in growing our own talent and supporting local young people into employment.
“They bring energy and a good skills mix including knowledge of technology and are able to look at things differently. They’re just a breath of fresh air. Initially some of the health orientated teams were nervous about young people being able to undertake certain tasks but as they’ve seen the apprentices develop they’ve got over that and realised how capable they are.
“As well as bringing in young people we also offer Apprenticeships to our existing staff to help them grow and develop.
“Working with learndirect enables us to offer learning and development opportunities that are tailored to our needs as a company and give staff the satisfaction of having their skills and knowledge recognised and nationally accredited. The Apprenticeships add to the breadth of learning and development opportunities we, as an organisation are able to offer, making us a more attractive employer.
“learndirect have been very helpful. They help us recruit our young apprentices so it’s really simple for us. Once they’ve sourced suitable candidates they help us organise interviews and “speed dating” type activities where our host teams and the prospective apprentices can meet to find out about each other.
“Once the apprentices are with the company learndirect keeps in touch with us with regular phone updates and presentation events where they provide information on the Apprenticeships in place so we’re always well informed. We also have access to an online system where we can keep track of the progress they’re all making which is useful.
“For the future, we’re planning to continue to increase the number of young people we bring on through Apprenticeships each year. The more we continue to build and offer successful, positive experiences to apprentices, the more word will get out there and we will continue to see increased engagement with the programme and therefore a workforce that is both skilled and knowledgeable.”