Healthcare company promotes culture of learning
A North Wales business, which provides meaningful training and employment to disabled and socially disadvantaged people, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Cefndy Healthcare, a business of Denbighshire County Council’s Social Services Department , is one of 28 finalists in nine categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships across Wales. Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.
The winners will be announced at a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, where the winners of the National Training Awards for Wales will also be recognised. The joint awards which will be attended by around 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales.
Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner is Media Wales.
A culture of learning and development is very evident at Cefndy Healthcare, a finalist in the Medium Employer of the Year category. As new General Manager in 2008, Deborah Holmes-Langstone realised that some staff had been promoted but had not been given relevant accredited training to support their responsibilities. Others were unlikely to gain promotion as they didn’t have the necessary qualifications behind them.
The organisation needed to develop for the future and become a more robust, qualified and “fit for purpose” workforce. Working with North Wales Training, Apprenticeships were introduced, with staff undertaking National Vocational Qualifications across all departments in the workplace.
“The feedback from the team has been unanimous about what they have gained from the Apprenticeship programme,” said Ms Holmes-Langstone. “This has had equally positive impact on the organisation itself.
“Staff improved their personal performance and so motivation grew as personal development and promotion opportunities increased. The result has been business growth and a significant improvement in the bottom line”.
More than 20 per cent of Cefndy’s staff have engaged in Apprenticeships, leading to three promotions and six people continuing to the next level of their particular programmes.
Since 2008, the organisation’s fortunes have been turned around and, whilst many factors have contributed to this position, the renewed focus on training and the apprentices have played a significant part.
“In 2012, Cefndy’s prospects are extremely positive and this is thanks to Cefndy being one workforce with one shared goal – success for all,” added Ms Holmes-Langstone.
Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.
“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.
“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive.
“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”
The NTfW is a network 116 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.