Sunrise Senior Living UK Upskill Team Members with Paragon Skills

Sunrise Senior Living UK have continued their commitment to develop the professional skills of team members in partnership with Paragon Skills, a leading UK Apprenticeship training provider.

The care provider, who pride themselves on delivering high-quality personalised care to residents, see supporting the development of their staff as central to the future growth of team members and of the organisation. Importantly, the benefits of their upskilled workforce are passed onto residents, ensuring they can deliver industry leading levels of care across each of their care homes.

With so many demands and pressures both externally and internally within the social care sector, Sunrise Senior Living UK endeavour to facilitate extensive, flexible and relevant training programmes for their team members.

Building on this commitment, Sunrise have partnered with Paragon Skills to offer vocational training courses through their Apprenticeship Levy funding. The Levy has put the control of apprenticeship funding in the hands of employers and has enabled Sunrise to invest in apprenticeship programmes to upskill their workforce. These on the job qualifications provide core and role specific individual pathways which combine a mix of theory and practical learning. In turn, these qualifications support team members to develop a deeper understanding of their key tasks and responsibilities, the importance of enhancing their skills, knowledge and behaviours, as well as leading and coaching others.

Speaking of the organisation’s commitment to nurturing the professional development of its team members, Dawn Buchanan-Hole, Learning and Development Manager at Sunrise, said:

“Our values and principles of service form the heart of our staff training, learning and development opportunities and we strongly believe these play a role in creating a sustainable positive workplace culture. Although it is important to recruit people with the right attitudes and beliefs which align to our organisation’s principles, we also know that it is vital for us to invest in the development of our team members and to create a culture of learning.

“Outcomes of our carefully designed development strategy help us improve the quality of our services provided to our residents and their families and ensures our organisation meets the relevant regulatory standards. This strategy also benefits our professional profile by sustaining and improving our brand and reputation.”

As well as contributing to better-quality services, it is well known that supporting the professional development of team members helps to improve the motivation and job satisfaction of employees. The same logic applies within the social care sector, and at Sunrise, training courses have been found to increase resilience in times of change, reduce staff turnover and decrease the costs of recruitment. As such, the use of apprenticeships allows the care providers to receive more value to their business than they put in.

Christina Chatzinikolaou, a Business Office Coordinator at Sunrise of Frognal, is one of the organisation’s team members who completed a Paragon training course. Speaking of her learning experience on the L3 Team Leader/Supervisor training course, Christina said:

“The apprenticeship has vastly improved all of my weak areas and made me a different team leader. By using multiple techniques to deliver my messages, my approach is much calmer and by using emotional intelligence I am able to get the best out of my team.

“Learning to become more approachable and flexible whilst adding learning to my everyday job tasks has meant that I have received some great feedback from my peers. This has motivated me to continue to aspire and be the best I can be.

“Dealing with Covid-19 has put incredible pressure on us all and having family out of the country hasn’t helped either. During this time, I have faced many challenges and the apprenticeship has helped me to remain focused and driven, even when supporting many different departments whilst organising changes to how they take in new starters. I reviewed the induction sessions and adjusted them to ensure that the business was supported and the key workers and residents were on top of day-to-day team management and responsibilities. The apprenticeship has also helped me to deal with external stakeholders and aided me with challenging families.”