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Health and social care apprenticeships going strong despite the pandemic

Health and social care apprentices have continued to enter the industry over the last 18 months despite the twin challenges of the COVID pandemic and current recruitment crisis in the industry, according to one of the UK’s leading training providers. 

Some 922 learners have begun a health and social care apprenticeship with Realise, less than 10% down on the 18-months previous. 

Realise deliver apprenticeships, adult learning and development programmes across the country and has seen a strong take up across the board with its five different level courses in health and social care.

Jason Whitehouse Head of Health and Social Care discusses Health and social care apprenticeships

Jason Whitehouse, head of health and social care at Realise, said: “We’re really proud to have maintained a high level of apprentices despite a difficult 18 months.

“From the start of 2020, we’ve had 922 learners begin a health and social care apprenticeship which is just 81 down on the same period the year before.

“Considering we’ve had lockdowns and many months of disruption, we’re pleased the drop off has been so minimal. 

“There’s been a lot of challenges with how our courses have been run and we’ve had to be very adaptive with the ever-changing circumstances with COVID restrictions. 

“We quickly introduced remote working for all of our apprentices but, because health and social care is such a hands on programme, it’s been difficult to replace that with academic work.

“Before the pandemic, around 75% of our courses were based around giving learners practical experience in health and social care settings so this has been one of the biggest changes.

“However, it’s been great to see everyone really embrace this different way of learning and make the most of the situation we’ve found ourselves in. 

“Now that things are slowly getting back to normal, we’re reintroducing our apprentices into health and social care settings which I think is going to be really important for the industry moving forward.

“Even before the pandemic hit, it was clear to see there weren’t enough people working in the sector and that workforce reform was essential.

“It’s vital that we make the health and social care sector appealing again and ensure that young people are fully trained so they have the best opportunity to have rewarding careers.

“The most exciting thing about our sector is that there’s a fast progression route with five different level courses that enables ambitious individuals to progress and develop quickly.”

Realise deliver apprenticeships in a variety of different settings supporting employers of all sizes. 

Its team of expert trainers help guide existing staff and new recruits through quality work-based learning programmes, from Prepare to Work in Adult Social Care Level 1 through to Leader in Adult Care Level 5.

It delivers in care homes and supporting services such as dementia care, learning disabilities, nursing care, personal care, domiciliary care, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, eating disorders, drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services.

Jason added: “Apprenticeship schemes as well as training and development programmes can help provide a natural career path to those who are new to the sector and from a business point of view it makes sense for health and social care settings to take advantage of the current support available to them. 

“The worst case scenario is that 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship training is funded by the government and, for larger organisations, it can be completely subsidised by the apprenticeship levy. 

“Not only that, in the health and social care sector keeping up to date with training is an essential part of improving a client’s quality of life. 

“Upskilling a current workforce so they have the knowledge required to excel in their specialism is just as important as recruiting.

“This will ultimately increase service levels long term and ensure organisations have the right skills to meet the individual needs of the people they assist and care for.”

 For more information, visit the Realise website on or e-mail 

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