Life-changing course offers a springboard into caring career 

19 year old Sabrina Rafferty has just finished an apprenticeship with the Princes Trust at Hillbury Care Home in Wrexham. Sabrina pictured with 95 year old resident, Margaret Newell.


A care organisation is looking for 16 unemployed young people from Gwynedd to sign up for a life-changing training scheme.

The course at Pendine Park’s new £7 million dementia centre in Caernarfon is the first part of their plan to create 100 apprenticeships across North Wales.

The Pendine Academy has joined forces with youth charity The Prince’s Trust to launch the free training programme based at Bryn Seiont Newydd on the outskirts of the town.

As well as running the Get into Health and Social Care scheme, Pendine Park are funding it in its entirety as part of the academy initiative that was launched last November.

A taster day is being held at Bryn Seiont on Wednesday, March 2.

The programme will give young people aged 16 to 25 an insight into what it’s like to work in care  homes or domiciliary care and provide a springboard into a rewarding career with good prospects.

Those accepted onto the programme will benefit from three weeks of vocational experience at Bryn Seiont during which they will get a true feel for a future as a modern specialist carer.

All those who successfully complete the initial period will be offered the chance to go on into further training with the Pendine Academy during which they will be paid through the academy’s ‘earn as you learn’ training scheme.

Similar Prince’s Trust schemes run by Pendine Park in Wrexham in the past few years have resulted in 11 trainees being given full-time jobs with the organisation.

One of those given a start was Sabrina Rafferty who was one of 14 young people on a programme which ran last February.

After being unemployed for six months she landed a full-time job as a care practitioner at Pendine Park’s Hillbury House care home in Wrexham.

Sabrina, 19, did so well that she was appointed a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, which means telling her story and giving hope to youngsters in a similar situation to hers.

She said: “Being part of the training scheme has definitely changed my life for the better.

“After getting my hair and beauty qualification at college I was unemployed for six months.

“I just couldn’t find a job and it was pretty boring sitting at home day after day.

“Then, through the Jobcentre, I found out about The Prince’s Trust training scheme offered at the Pendine Academy in Wrexham.

“I did that for three weeks and learned about all aspects of the social care.

“At the end of it I had a week’s work placement at Hillbury House, which I really enjoyed, and was lucky enough to be offered a full-time job there by the manager, Cindy Clutton.”

She added: “I really love the work, mostly when I see residents’ smiling faces as I come into work. To be help and care for them brings joy to my life.

“I want to make this my career. I’m currently doing the Level 2 Diploma in social care and when I have that I want to go on to get further qualifications.

“Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to get into management.

“I’m very grateful to Pendine and The Prince’s Trust for giving me the chance to turn my life around and I’d encourage other people to get on to a similar scheme.”

Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE said the new Get Into Health and Social Care training programme at Bryn Seiont provides the perfect start to a rewarding career in the care industry.

He explained: “Get into Health and Social Care is the fourth programme of its type we’ve run jointly with The Prince’s Trust and the first to be based at Brynt Seiont Newydd, which we opened recently and now employs 90 care staff.

“On this latest programme we’re looking for 16 people and it’s likely a large number of them will be unemployed or they may be overcoming a disability.

“The aim is to showcase social care as a rewarding career opportunity and, in the past, a number of young people on these schemes, like Sabrina, have been given permanent jobs with Pendine.

“The scheme being based at Bryn Seiont is also significant in a number of other ways.

“It’s the first to be run under the auspices of our in-house training academy and also for which we will be a provider as well as a sponsor. In that respect it’s ground-breaking in Wales.”

He added: “We will be staging a taster day for the scheme at Bryn Seiont Newydd on Wednesday March 2.

“Those who see it as an opportunity to join the social care industry and show the right aptitude for it will be offered the chance to go on to the next stage of the process for a solid grounding in the profession with our Pendine Academy, lasting six months.

“At the end of that period successful people will be offered the opportunity to join a full training programme lasting for 18 months when they will paid, so it’s a real chance to earn while they learn.

“By the time their training is finished they will be fully-fledged care professionals who will achieve a diploma Level 2 qualification in health and social care and an ILM Level 2 diploma in business and administration.

“Pendine Park has a solid track record over 30 years of offering opportunities to people to join the profession, particularly those who may have been disadvantaged in some way or who have overcome disability. This is another phase of that process.

“It’s also important to say that this is a fully funded training programme with no public money supporting the programme.

“This is a Pendine Academy initiative in conjunction with The Prince’s Trust and one we are very proud to offer. I hope as many people as possible will come along to our taster day.”

Mark Joseph, programme executive for The Prince’s Trust, said: “We are very excited about working with Pendine as part of their new education package.

“We’ve run a number of successful courses with Pendine in the past and the young people involved always benefit from the skills and professionalism of their team.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get into the care sector with industry recognised qualifications and the possibility of a lifelong job.”

For further information about the taster day at Bryn Seiont Newydd on March 2, contact Sian Jones on 07970 876717, or email: