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national apprenticeships week

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is taking place from 7-13 February – so we're spreading the word about apprenticeships at Lifeways!

Apprenticeships are everywhere across the UK’s workforce. In England alone, around two percent of all working-age adults are currently taking part in apprenticeship schemes – many of them in social care.

What’s more, apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers.

Wherever you are in your career, apprenticeships are a great way to improve your skills and gain a further qualification.

Why everybody wins with apprenticeships:

Lifeways offers apprenticeships to many of its 11,000 colleagues.

Becoming an apprentice is a win-win for both you as an individual, and for Lifeways.

This is because when you complete an apprenticeship programme, you get a nationally-recognised qualification, which is fully paid for by Lifeways.

Meanwhile, individuals we support at Lifeways get to benefit from your newly-acquired skills and knowledge.

Learn while you earn

As an apprentice, you learn while you earn, and receive your full pay while you work towards a recognised qualification.

You also don’t have to take any time off your job, and can complete your apprenticeship qualification within working hours.

And once you’ve earned your qualification, you’ll have it for life.

Our apprenticeship programme:

Lifeways has developed a bespoke apprenticeship training programme with Lifetime Training, an award-winning training organisation.

By partnering with Lifetime Training, we ensure our apprenticeship strategy is fully supported and delivering the maximum benefits to both our colleagues and Lifeways.

Apprenticeships we offer:

Lifeways offers a total of 22 qualifications in its apprenticeship scheme, under support services and office support functions.

Right now, we currently support 285 learners on a range of apprenticeship programmes - which were previously known as NVQs - across Lifeways.

Here’s a list of our apprenticeship programmes:

Support services:

  • Adult Care Worker Level 2 – This qualification gives you the skills needed to supplement your role as a support worker
  • Lead Adult Care Worker Level 3 – Gives you the skills needed to become a team leader, managing other support workers
  • Team Leader/Supervisor with Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Level 3 – Gives you the skills needed to lead and supervise at a deputy manager level or experienced team leader
  • Leader in Adult Care Level 5 – Gives you the skills needed to become a registered manager. Holding or working towards your level 5 qualification is a requirement to attain a manager position.

Wider business services:

  • Customer Service Practitioner Level 2 – Provides skills in understanding customer service delivery
  • Customer Service Specialist Level 3 – Teaches you how delivery of outstanding customer service is achieved for a team
  • Business Administrator Level 3 – Teaches you to demonstrate administration skills in a professional and effective manner
  • Operations Departmental Manager with CMI Level 5 – Gives you the skills to lead a team of managers through a strategic management approach
  • Associate Project Manager Level 4 – Gives you the skills needed to handle projects on time and at cost, delivering a return on investment
  • HR Support Level 3 – Teaches you how to handle day-to-day queries and provide HR advice
  • HR Consultant Partner Level 5 – Teaches you decision-making and influencing skills to provide solutions to people-related challenges within a business and give advice to managers and others about HR matters
  • Learning & Development Practitioner Level 3 – Provides skills to support learning and development functions to help influence improved performance in the workplace
  • Learning and Development Professional Level 5 – Teaches you to support current learning and development professionals to extend their expertise and develop interventions that have impact
  • Information Communication Technician Level 3 – Provides the core skills and knowledge required to begin a career in IT as an information communications technician
  • Software Developer Technician Level 3 – Provides the skills and knowledge required to begin a career in IT as a software developer, technician or similar role
  • Software Tester Level 3 – Provides the skills and knowledge required to begin a career in IT as a software tester or similar role
  • Network Engineer Level 4 – Provides the skills and knowledge required to begin a career in IT as a network engineer or a similar role
  • Software Developer Level 4 – Provides the skills and knowledge required to begin a career in IT as a software developer
  • Essential Data Analytics Level 3 – Teaches you how to use data to make better decisions through analysis, insight, and actions
  • Advanced Data Analytics Level 4 – Gives you the skills and knowledge required to begin a career in a data analyst role
  • Digital Marketer Level 3 – Provides the skills and knowledge required to being a career as a marketing assistant, co-ordinator, executive or similar role
  • Technical Sales Level 3 – Provides the skills and knowledge required to begin a career in IT in a technical sales role.

If there isn’t a qualification catered for your role or department, Lifeways’ Learning and Development team can support you in accessing a related apprenticeship or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course.

Common myths about apprenticeships:

Myth: Apprenticeships take ages to complete

Fact: False. Apprenticeship levels 2 and 3 take around 12 to 16 months including end-point assessments. Most Level 5s (foundation degree equivalent) take around 18 to 24 months.

Myth: You have to be working full time to do an apprenticeship

Fact: False. At Lifeways, you only have to be working a minimum of 16 hours per week – so around two working days.

Myth: I can’t apply for an apprenticeship because I have a qualification already

Fact: False. You can apply for an apprenticeship even if you already have a higher level qualification. Apprenticeships are open for people looking to gain new skills – so if your apprenticeship is in a different field from what you’re qualified in, you can apply.

Here’s what Lifeways colleagues say about apprenticeships:

Georgia, whose very first job after college was as a support worker for Lifeways in 2016, says: “during my time as a support worker, I knew I wanted a long-term career with Lifeways, and I wanted to climb the career ladder.”

Now, six years later, after completing several qualifications, including her NVQ Care Leadership and Management Level 5 diploma, Georgia’s now a registered manager in the Beeston, Nottinghamshire area.

Kelly-Anne, who joined Lifeways as a support worker in 2014, says: “From the moment I carried out my first shift, I knew this was a step in the right direction to having the career I wanted.”

Starting as a support worker with Lifeways in the Sheffield and Chesterfield area, Kelly-Anne pursued her NVQ Levels 3 and 5, which saw her become a team leader, then service manager, and then a registered manager across nine supported living services.

Gina, who joined Lifeways as a support worker in 2014 after being a primary school teacher, says: “I have achieved my NVQ Level 5 thanks to Lifeways, I would never have had the opportunities to progress in the way that I have in any other field.”

When Gina joined Lifeways, she worked her way up from support worker, to team leader, then service manager, then registered manager. Gina was then promoted again to the position of area manager, also in the Nottinghamshire area.

How to apply for a Lifeways apprenticeship:

To be eligible for an apprenticeship at Lifeways, you need to already be employed with us.

Apprenticeships are available for most roles at Lifeways - including if you’re part time and working no less than 16 hours a week with us.

To ask about apprenticeships at Lifeways, speak with your line manager, find the vocational learning application form on the Workplace Knowledge Library, or email our Learning and Development Team at: [email protected]

We hope you’ve found this article helpful – and have found the stories of our colleagues’ career progression encouraging. Happy National Apprenticeships Week!


About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.

We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions. 

As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community. 

Our 11,000 colleagues currently support almost 5,000 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales. 

Find out more about how we change people's lives at:  

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