Skills Group

Devon apprentices to battle it out in care competition

Two Skills Group Health and Social Care apprentices will put their skills and knowledge to the test as they battle it out for a place in a national competition.

Carole Langmead, 45, of Barnstaple, and Sarah Gardner, 26, of Loddiswell, have won through to the regional heats of the WorldSkills UK Health and Social Care Competition, which tests the skills and knowledge required to deliver excellent care to vulnerable adults.

Carole works for Eastleigh Care Home, while Sarah works at Wonford House, the headquarters for Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which provides care for people with mental health issues. Both are currently completing their NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care with Skills Group.

The regional heat will see Carole and Sarah put through a series of patient care tasks. Patients will be played by actors and suffer from dementia, learning disabilities, drug and alcohol issues.

The event takes place at South Devon College on 22nd June and the 10 highest scoring candidates will go through to the national final at The Skills Show, which will take place at the NEC in Birmingham in November.

Carole began her apprenticeship after being made redundant as a deputy pre-school manager two years ago. She said: “I love my job and I am so passionate about what I do.

It is not an easy job, but I love making a difference to people’s lives. Caring involves many things; it’s caring not just with your hands, but your heart. It’s about dignity and respect, and I really think I was born to care for others.”

Sarah said she was looking forward to competing but expected it to be tough competition. She said: “I’m really proud; it was unexpected and it’s a great opportunity. I love helping people with different issues. We don’t all have the right answers, but having that bit of support can help.

We are going to be up against some of the best care workers across the region, so it’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to the day and the challenges it brings.”

Annette Davey, Skills Group Team Leader for Health and Social Care, said: “Carole and Sarah have both done brilliantly to get through to the regional heat.

This is a prestigious competition that helps to showcase the skills apprentices can acquire. It is a great opportunity for Carole and Sarah to pit themselves against the best apprentices from across the UK. We wish them both the best of luck.”

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Skills Group has over 20 years’ experience in delivering apprenticeships, working with top local employers to offer sustainable employment opportunities. We are one of the country's largest independent training providers, one of very few to be recognised as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted, and in the top 5% nationally for our apprentice success rates.

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