Wendy Pullin| Collingwood Residential Home

Apprentice Bonnie with Wendy Pullin, manager Collingwood Residential Home

Wendy employs a City of Bristol College apprentice at Collingwood Residential Home, where she is the manager.

The first time

This is our first apprentice so it is a very new task to us. Although we're not a particularly large home were very keen to support and encourage anybody who’s interested in this line of work. We’ve had many college students on work placements before, so when I was approached about taking on an apprentice we were more than happy to pursue it and see what we could do to help.

Business benefits

It has been very beneficial to us at the home because I feel there is a lot of us who have been employed in care who have worked for a long time. Bonnie brought new ideas and hopefully we gave her some of our experience.

Training time

There are a lot of staff with a lot of experience who are also very keen to encourage Bonnie's apprenticeship. I was glad that Bonnie felt she could approach if she ever needed to know anything. Whenever Bonnie's assessor came in I was always keen to know where she was at each stage of her apprenticeship. We all tried to show encouragement and show how proud we were of her and what she did. Bonnie was very well motivated which made our job much easier!

Simple process

Yep, when she was first registering we obviously looked at what it involved because was new to us. We wanted to be fair to her, so that we could take her on and fulfil her qualification. I felt confident because we’d been involved before and are very proactive with encouraging people to learn

Permanent position

We didn't think twice about offering Bonnie a permanent position - though we didn’t want to put pressure on her to stay even though she'd done an apprenticeship with us. We hoped that she was considering staying to further her career so that we could offer her more training to continue up the ladder and move on in her role.

My recommendation

We’ve had such a positive experience that I would recommend it to anybody. We were unsure at first, but obviously there’s a lot of support in terms of monetary fees and I’d recommend it because apprentices can bring so much into a business.

Our contribution

We made no contribution to her fees; obviously we received a fee for having an apprentice, however the fee we pay is the wages involved. When Bonnie completed her apprenticeship we made it clear she wouldn’t be expected to stay on an apprenticeship rate, I think that was important so she had a clear direction of what she was doing

It was a very positive experience, I appreciate it may not work for everybody but it worked for us, we would be more than happy to appoint another apprentice.