Tammy shows why employers should care about apprenticeships

6th Mar 2019

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To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, running from 4-8 March, Heathcotes Group would like to highlight a support worker who is one of numerous apprentices doing fantastic work at Heathcotes services nationwide. Tammy McKeown, who works at our Carrington Park services, is an outstanding example of the value of apprenticeships in the care sector.

Tammy had been studying Psychology and English Literature at college, but was keen to get involved in working life and decided to end her studies early. She started applying for various apprenticeships via online recruitment portals. Heathcotes was the first organisation to get in touch and Tammy was impressed by the company’s commitment to investment in training.

Heathcotes and our learning partners, Learning Unlimited and Chesterfield College, have introduced sector-based work academies throughout the region. The college provides short courses, including Health & Social Care qualifications, alongside employability skills. After completing the three-week programme, many participants convert into support worker roles, complete their Care Certificate and get enrolled onto the apprenticeship qualification.

Tammy joined Heathcotes as an apprentice support worker in May 2017 and followed our tried-and-tested route to qualifications via the courses at Chesterfield College. Having achieved NVQ Levels 1 and 2, Tammy completed her Care Certificate and apprenticeship in July 2018.  She has since been a revelation in her role at Carrington Park, drawing praise in equal measure from colleagues, service users and their families.

Louise Duffield, Services Manager at Carrington Park, described Tammy’s progress:
“Tammy is now full time and doing an amazing job. Shortly after completing her apprenticeship, she became an acting team leader and now covers for team leaders when they are absent. From a very early stage in her apprenticeship, Tammy was keen to progress further, so she took on extra training courses relating to medication and was shadowing team leaders in preparation for the completion of her apprenticeship.  Tammy is eager to continue this progress to the next level and she comes into the office on occasions to learn management tasks. When a team leader vacancy becomes available, she will be a very strong candidate.”

Heathcotes’ Director of Operations, Tracy Johnson, said:
“Tammy’s enthusiasm is obvious - she is a testament to the mutual rewards of taking on talented young people and investing in their training and development.  Heathcotes’ staff retention is very high because our support workers have the opportunity to grow with us, much like Tammy is. Our support staff play a vital role in planning and supporting the transition to a more independent life for our service users. They become friends, mentors and role models. Heathcotes’ apprenticeship programme is all about identifying people with the right values and personal attributes – dedication, enthusiasm and, above all, a caring nature. With those qualities as a foundation, our apprentices obtain their qualifications with funding and support from Heathcotes and go on to establish long-term career progression. It serves them well and it serves Heathcotes well as we are able to nurture staff who are steeped in our values, goals and high standards.”

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