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Sue Ryder advocates the sustainable and practical solutions of Degree Apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships have proven an effective way for Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre to upskill their staff, ensuring they can fill skills gaps within their business.

Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre located in Fulwood, Preston employs over 150 people and places a large emphasis and value on training and education of their staff to ensure the quality of care they offer is maintained at the best level it can be. 

Hannah Halliwell, Head of Therapy Services, sees first-hand the benefits that Degree Apprenticeships can bring to staff through the training offered by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). “The main benefit to Sue Ryder has been the ability to offer our employees the opportunity to grow and develop into Assistant Practitioners while being retained in the organisation. The off the job hours combined with work-based learning is a great combination for all parties.”

As the business welcomes the flexibility of Degree Apprenticeships, they also see further benefit as they now provide them with a more sustainable and less disruptive way of developing their workforce. Hannah adds: “The benefits have become more apparent now the Degree Apprenticeship students have qualified and can work at an autonomous level within the team. Initially, there is a high level of employer investment at all levels in the team however, this investment has really paid off as we now benefit from the additional skills in the team.

“The Degree Apprenticeship route has been an excellent way for Sue Ryder to support the growth and development of our colleagues to become Assistant Practitioners. It is a sustainable and practical solution to consider when supporting career progression in the workplace and one that has developed excellent partnerships between Sue Ryder and UCLan.”

"The Degree Apprenticeship route has been an excellent way for Sue Ryder to support the growth and development of our colleagues to become Assistant Practitioners."

Hannah Halliwell, Head of Therapy Services at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre

Employee Michelle Devlin who recently graduated on the Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) Degree Apprenticeship first decided to enrol as she had reached a point in her career where she needed a new challenge. Michelle found out about the opportunity for progression through a Rehabilitation Service advert at work. Michelle said: “After speaking to other colleagues who had completed the Assistant Practitioner course for Nursing, I knew it would be a challenge but that’s just what I wanted so I applied.” Michelle sums up her experience adding: “The experience was life-changing and rewarding. It helped to enhance my knowledge and skills which I have been able to put into practice within my new role as Therapy Assistant Practitioner.”

Whilst training with UCLan Michelle also enjoyed meeting other people from different workplaces and hearing about their roles and what they would be doing when they qualified from university. Now that Michelle has a platform for the future, she would also like to pass on some useful advice for anyone considering a Degree Apprenticeship. Michelle advises: “Don’t leave things until the last minute, keep on top of your portfolio work and enjoy every moment.”