Nursing home finds value in apprentices

Apprentices in front row L to R : Roanne Stroud, Kirsty Lowe, Peter Salmon, Sophie Pavlou. Rear L to R : Taleb Durgahee Director, Jan Burch and Sharon Smith of Palm Court and Jackie Akehurst of Job Centre Plus and Sam Ingram of Sussex Downs College. E08020N
Apprentices in front row L to R : Roanne Stroud, Kirsty Lowe, Peter Salmon, Sophie Pavlou. Rear L to R : Taleb Durgahee Director, Jan Burch and Sharon Smith of Palm Court and Jackie Akehurst of Job Centre Plus and Sam Ingram of Sussex Downs College. E08020N

AN EASTBOURNE nursing home has taken on four new apprentices from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds.

Palm Court Nursing Home in Prideaux Road is training three care assistants and an office administrator in partnership with Sussex Down College.

The apprentices were all found by management at Palm Court following an event at Eastbourne Town Hall.

There were 22 training providers and employers at the event and it was organised by the Job Centre.

Peter Salmon, 55, will be taking up an apprenticeship in care work.

He had been out of work for around 18 months and said care work interested him.

Peter said, “I had been to an apprenticeship presentation before and they said you could get involved regardless of age, so that was brilliant.

“It also means my life experience can be taken in to the job.”

Kirsty Lowe, 19, was tired of her supermarket job and was looking for a new challenge.

She said, “My partner goes to the Job Centre and he spotted the apprentice event. I am really pleased and can’t wait to start.”

Roanne Stroud, 21, added, “I thought I was too old for an apprenticeship because I thought they were for school leavers.

“I have always wanted to work in care and when I saw Palm Court at the event at the Town Hall I went running over to speak to them.”

And Sophie Pavlou, a 23-year-old mum, will be working in business admin.

She had been applying for positions in that field for some time but was unable to secure a job because didn’t have experience.

“It’s good to be able to get experience, qualifications and earn at the same time,” said Sophie.

Sam Ingram from Sussex Downs College said the four apprentices will be monitored while they earn money by working at the nursing home.

Sam, who is responsible for apprentices in health and social care, said, “Youth recruitment is a an issue in the care industry so we are pleased to have been able to place apprentices at Palm Court.

“Care work sometimes has a stigma and we want to let people know that there are lots of opportunities within the industry and it is not just care.

“For example one of the apprentices here at Palm Court will be doing business admin.”

The apprentices will spend two years training while they work and will then be fully qualified.

Amir Durgahee, development manager at Palm Court, said the nursing home wanted a ‘home grown’ team which would progress to become managers and senior staff at the home.

He said, “We want people to come in from the bottom and train them up.”