Care homes firm to take on 20 apprentices
- Credit: James Bass
East Anglian care provider Kingsley Healthcare has launched an ambitious youth recruitment drive to fuel its rapid expansion.
The dementia care specialist, which started 15 years ago with one home in Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, is to immediately begin the search for 20 apprentices to work in its care homes across the region.
The one-year apprenticeships will be available in a number of disciplines, including caring, catering, administration, finance and property maintenance.
The company is also seeking to recruit four graduate trainees every nine months as it steps up its £200m-plus expansion strategy to become a familiar national brand within five years.
The pace of the company’s advance across the UK is shown by its acquisition of four new freehold properties - in Woodbridge, Colchester, Dorset and Cheshire - in just the past two months.
Construction work has also begun on a 62-bedroom home in Cheshire which will be the first of a new-build programme delivering about four new homes a year over the next six or seven year period.
Kingley CEO Daya Thayan, 53, said: “We are also currently pursuing the acquisition of a number of other existing care homes which will increase our capacity within the next three months.
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“We are also about to conclude contract arrangements to acquire two further building plots in the North-West for another 62-bedroom home and a larger one with 70 bedrooms.”
Mr Thayan has announced his recruitment drive at a time when the company is poised to confirm the multi-million pound move of its headquarters from School Road, Lowestoft to larger premises elsewhere in the town.
He said: “Through our apprenticeship programme we are committed to giving local young people a really good start to their working life.
“We want aspiring individuals to recognise our industry as a vibrant one where they can achieve the same sort of package and benefits they would in other professions. For example we pay our nurses £35,000 to £40,000.”
Kingsley, which has rapidly grown its portfolio up to 24 all freehold properties - 17 in East Anglia - is underpinning its focus on person-centred care with the launch of new in-house Kingsley Care Awards that will recognise the achievements of its staff.
While the company is planning to expand its staff nationally from 1,200 to 2,500 within five years, Mr Thayan said he was committed to their Lowestoft roots.
“We are becoming involved in several community programmes. Our latest initiative is a community football programme for young people and we want to become involved in other community-based projects,” he said.