A mental health services charity has turned to the apprenticeship programme to find its next generation of support workers.
Newcastle-based Mental Health Concern (MHC) will recruit five apprentices over the next 12 months as it looks to fill roles left vacant by some of its retiring staff.
The flexibility of the apprenticeship means that the programme can be used when MHC requires new staff, with trainees employed as trainee support workers before becoming fully fledged support workers on completion of their training, which will allow them to work within either rehab and recovery or dementia care services.
The organisation now plans to use the apprenticeship programme to recruit new staff over the next five years.
Tony Leather, human resources manager at MHC, said: “We identified apprenticeships as a perfect way to complement our recruitment strategy.
“It means we will receive high-quality candidates that have been screened and identified as having a passion to work within the mental health sector.
“Newcastle College will match candidates to our requirements and tailor the training in line with their roles and responsibilities.
“Through the apprenticeship programme, we hope to be able to meet our recruitment needs over the next five years.
Barbara King, director of the school of health and enterprise at Newcastle College, said: “Mental Health Concern is one of an increasing number of employers in the voluntary sector that realise that using the apprenticeship programme can fulfil their long-term recruitment needs.
“Our apprenticeships are not only flexible but they are a cost-effective way to attract new recruits to the workforce. The collaboration with Mental Health Concern is a clear example of how modern day organisations are adapting a work-focused training approach to recruit and develop staff.”
MHC is also a supporter of the Journal’s campaign to help create as many apprenticeship places as possible in the region. The ‘500 in 100’ campaign has already reached the 589 apprentices mark with over four weeks left of the campaign, after breaking its original target of 100 places in just three weeks.
Mr Leather said: “Not only will the apprenticeships provide fantastic training for a our future workforce, they will also take a lot of the leg work out of the recruitment process.”
For more information about the Health and Social Care apprenticeship at Newcastle College please visit: http://www.ncl-coll.ac.uk/apprenticeship-learner/subject-health-social-care.aspx