First City Training was runner-up in the national '2008 Best In-House Training & Assessment Centre' Skills for Care Awards.
Skills for Care is the authority on training standards and development for nearly one million social care staff in England and this is the fifth year of industry accolades.
The only finalists in their category from the South of England, Group Business Manager Stephen Trowbridge picked up the certificate on behalf of his dedicated team. Swindon-based First City Training has centres in Swindon, Cheltenham, Salisbury and Bournemouth and provides skills training for 700 people from 93 organisations annually. It is an offshoot of First City, a progressive nursing and domiciliary care company.
Skills for Care Regional Development Manager, (South West), John Nash commented 'I'm delighted that First City Training received a highly commended at the national Skills for Care Accolades 2008. It is a well-deserved reward for all the effort and hard work they have put into achieving and maintaining a qualified and competent workforce who provide excellent care. Selected from 20 national applications, First City Training were one of three finalists whom the judges felt showed exemplary practice in training and qualifying their staff. Sponsored by the Department of Health, the accolades are our way of recognising and rewarding good practice.'
Keith and Mary Trowbridge established Ashgrove House Nursing Home near Swindon twenty-six years ago. Son Stephen Trowbridge studied Business and Law and used the company in all practical exercises. As agency costs were the company's biggest expense, they decided to buy their own nursing agency.
When the Government introduced the Care Standards Commission Act in 2000, First City outsourced their training needs to improve staff qualifications. Training became the greatest expense and as newly appointed Group Business Manager, Stephen wanted greater flexibility to cover shifts. This visionary entrepreneur evaluated the required training standards and created an in-house training team. In 2005 First City Training became an accredited City & Guilds NVQ Assessment Centre working closely with the Learning and Skills Councils. Part of their award-winning formula is a Training Needs Analysis to assess whether staff need additional numeracy, literacy or language skills support.
Last week, retail giant Sainsbury's announced NVQ 'on-the-job' training for 150,000 staff but First City Training introduced their revolutionary paper-free electronic assessment centres in 2005, using e-learning and oral assessment techniques. Together these initiatives remove barriers to learning and especially help people with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, or for whom English is a second language. It takes just 4 to 6 months to qualify, compared to 12 to 18 months for paperbased assessments. Employers benefit through a reduction of up to one third in 'on-the job' training costs.
First City's nursing home and agency have 85% of staff with level 2 NVQ qualifications or above, which is far above the national average of 33%1 with Level 2 NVQ.
Contact Stephen Trowbridge on 01793 612380 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details on training your workforce onsite or in-house. Courses can be individually tailored to suit each organisation.
Stephen Trowbridge adds 'We're over the moon to be ranked with the best in the country. We have benefitted hugely from the positive learning culture and I'm incredibly proud of our staff who deliver such high standards of training and care for clients all year round!'
Another evening highlight was when First City Training were photographed with World Cup England defender Rio Ferdinand from Manchester United who stayed in the same London hotel.