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(Left to Right) Waypoints Plymouth home Head Chef Lisa Palmer, apprentice chef Joe Childs, Waypoints managing director Andrew Baxendine and Plymouth city councillor Sue McDonald.

Value of apprenticeships for Plymouth businesses & young people

A Plymouth dementia care home wants to give more young people the opportunity to learn new skills through apprenticeship training.

Nineteen-year-old Joe Childs believes his life has been turned around for the better since he started working at as a trainee chef at Waypoints dementia care home earlier this year. 

 

Joe is working his Hospitality Professional Cookery Apprenticeship at Waypoints in Ernesettle Lane. He said: “I really enjoy my working life here and cannot imagine going back to how I was before, with no sense of purpose or direction. Having a job and getting trained has helped my confidence and given me hope for the future.

 

“I am currently learning the basics from hygiene and food preparation to making basic meals for the residents. It’s unusual for the chefs to have direct contact with the people they are cooking for and I like this aspect of working in the home. For example at Waypoints, staff eat their meals with the residents. I understand how meals are an important part of the overall care of the residents and how to make small changes to the same meal to address the specific calorie and nutritional needs of individuals living here. There is no set times for meals – residents can eat what they like when they like – so no one day is the same.”

 

Waypoints Care Group Managing Director Andrew Baxendine said: “Age and experience doesn’t always have to be the overriding criteria for when we recruit staff. The calibre of person we look for is someone who is willing to learn, has a caring nature and takes seriously their responsibilities when looking after vulnerable people. We can teach the practical skills and give them the work experience.”

 

Michelle Pointer, senior training consultant with Focus Training South West, said: “During his interview with us Joe talked about how much he liked to cook and the caring relationship he has with his grandma. He seemed to be a natural match for the apprenticeship opportunity being offered by Waypoints.

“It is very forward-thinking of employers to provide apprenticeship jobs within their business. Apprentices are highly motivated individuals who bring enthusiasm and commitment to the staff team. We currently have 151 apprentices with us in Plymouth but would love more companies to consider providing apprenticeship training.”

 

Plymouth City Council Cabinet member for Public Health and Adult Social Care Councillor Sue McDonald said: “This apprenticeship is a big boost for Joe and has put him on the path to a fulfilling career. It’s also really good for the residents at Waypoints to have a young, caring person who is willing to learn and look after their dietary needs. Dementia can affect a person’s eating habits and it’s important there is flexibility with their meals so they can still enjoy food and eat a balanced diet.”

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