Domiciliary care provider Wales England Care Ltd says apprenticeships are integral to its growth plans after improving performance and quality and reducing staff turnover.

In the past year, the Newport-based company says its Apprenticeship Programme has contributed to a 57 per cent increase in sales and a 98 per cent client approval rating by improving skills, confidence and efficiency and reducing costs, resulting in a 177 per cent rise in nett income.

Staff turnover fell from 68 per cent to 16 per cent - January to September last year - since apprenticeships were introduced and the number of care hours delivered weekly has increased from 200 to 1,000 hours since 2017.

Now the company has been shortlisted for the Small Employer of the Year award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales. Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Holder of the Investors in People silver accreditation, Wales England Care has a workforce of 42 and managing director Kim Churcher, a former apprentice herself, is determined to highlight the importance and value of care professionals.

She engages with other businesses in the sector to promote the benefits of apprenticeships and share good practice.

“The Apprenticeship Programme is now firmly embedded into the organisation and will continue to be at the forefront of our strategic business planning,” said Christopher Churcher, Wales England Care’s finance director. “We will be looking to develop the programme further.”