Skills Support for the Workforce

Fully funded training leads to career progression for care home staff member

Beacon House Care Home is a nursing home near Bedford town centre. A professional and experienced staff team provide the highest standards for nursing, physical care and dementia rehabilitation. Beacon House recognise the importance of upskilling their staff and have contacted Serco to find out about fully funded training opportunities through Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW).


SSW is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The programme provides recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of businesses and boost local economies. Serco delivers the programme in South East Midlands through a network of expert skills training organisations on behalf of South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.


HiT Training, part of Serco’s provider network, completed a Training Needs Analysis with Beacon House which identified that Michelle Hide, who works in the kitchen at the care home, would benefit in taking a NCFE Health and Nutrition Level 2 qualification. The award looks at the principles of healthy eating, planning and achieving a healthy diet, how an individual's dietary requirements change throughout their life and provides an understanding of food labelling.


Michelle completed the NCFE Health and Nutrition Level 2 with support from an assessor and was keen to broaden her role at Beacon House. HiT Training suggested Michelle progressed onto NCFE Dementia Level 2 to increase her understanding of dementia. This qualification aims to develop the knowledge and skills required when providing positive care for people with dementia and their families and raises awareness of the causes and symptoms of dementia.


At the end of Michelle's programme she progressed her career at Beacon House with additional hours, a pay increase and also a change in her job role and responsibilities. She now works with the care team as a carer one day a week as well as her hours in the kitchen.


Michelle Hide, Beacon House, said:


“I feel the health and nutritional information I have gained from completing the qualification means I can plan meals better and inform staff of the nutrients in certain food items. This is having a positive impact on my day-to-day work and the enjoyment in my role. Undertaking the Level 2 in Dementia has allowed me to have a better understanding of how to support people in the care home with dementia.


“I found my learning very informative and interesting and my assessor was able to help me or show me where to go to get information if I was stuck on a question, and we built up a good working relationship.”


To find out about accessing fully funded training for employees through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme businesses can contact us