We’re halfway through National Apprenticeship Week, so we’re bringing you a very special Q&A on all things apprenticeships at City & County.

Let’s clear up a few things.

1) What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid job where the employee learns and gains valuable experiences.

Alongside on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 20% of their working hours completing classroom-based learning with a college, university or training provider which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

An apprenticeship includes:

  • paid employment with holiday leave
  • hands-on-experience in a sector/role of interest
  • at least 20% off-the-job training
  • formal assessment which leads to a nationally recognised qualification

2) Will an apprenticeship cost me any money?

The apprenticeship programme is free, City & County Healthcare Group will cover the cost utilising our apprenticeship levy. When you become an apprentice, you’ll need to cover the cost of your day-to-day expenses, such as lunch and travel as you would as a normal employee.

3) Who can do an apprenticeship at City and County?

Anyone aged 16 years old and above, there is no upper age limit. There are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship at City & County Healthcare Group. You must be employed by City & County Healthcare Group.

4) How long does an apprenticeship take?

The duration of an apprenticeship depends on the course being followed and the ability of the individual apprentice. An apprenticeship can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of apprenticeship, the apprentice’s ability and the industry sector. As a guide, an Intermediate Level 2 apprenticeship usually takes around 12 to 18 months and an advanced Level 3 apprenticeship around 24 months

5) What sort of apprenticeships are available for care staff?

We have a wide-ranging offer following our career pathway.

  1. Adult Care Worker Level 2
  2. Lead Adult Care Worker Level 3
  3. Lead Practitioner in Adult Care Level 4
  4. Leader in Adult Care Level 5
  5. Chartered Manager Degree Level 6 (BSC Hons in Health & Care Management)

6) What sort of apprenticeships are available for non-care staff?

We have a very large offering for our non-care staff that is relevant to the function you work within. To provide a few examples of the apprenticeships on offer see below:

  1. Team Leader Supervisor Level 3 (CMI/ILM)
  2. Operations Departmental Manager Level 5 (CMI/ILM)
  3. Business Admin Level 3
  4. CIPD Level 3 & 5
  5. AAT Level 2 & 3
  6. ACCA / CIMA Level 7
  7. Associate Project Manager Level 4
  8. IT Solutions Technician Level 3

7) How is my apprenticeship assessed?

End-point assessment (EPA) is the final stage of an apprenticeship. It is an impartial assessment of whether you have developed the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship standard.

Assessments are designed by employers in the sector and are conducted by independent bodies known as end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs).

As well as successfully completing the EPA, you may need to complete several additional requirements before completion. This might include mandatory English and maths qualifications. Once all elements of the apprenticeship are completed, you will receive the apprenticeship certificate.

8) How will I be supported throughout my apprenticeship?

Managers that have people who enrol onto this programme will play an important part in their development. Managers will have access to the reports and portal’s where they can keep up to date with the progress of their learners who are on the programme. As a minimum, managers will be asked to complete checklists that log activities their learner has completed in the workplace and the extent to which they are competent in these activities. These checklists will be supported by the trainer and can be easily recorded on the Employer Portal.

9) Will I be given time off work to study for my apprenticeship?

Where it is a requirement for a learner to have a professional qualification to perform his/her job role, the company may support study, and allow appropriate time for exam preparation, balanced with workload. Eligibility for study support will be decided upon whether the qualification is essential to the job role. This is primarily relevant to professional roles e.g., surveying, finance, legal, HR and IT. This will be agreed between the learner and their line manager, depending on the apprenticeship they will undergo. This will be shown on the labour model under training hours.

10) What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

During an apprenticeship programme they will be working towards a nationally recognised apprenticeship standard. This is accredited by relevant industry regulatory bodies and will help further their understanding in the chosen career. Depending on the type of programme an apprentice enrols onto they may also have the chance to work towards QCF accredited diplomas and qualifications in Maths and English.

All-in-all, apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative route to progressing your career. City & County offers a whole host of apprenticeship programs for existing staff.

Interested in joining City & County? Visit cch.careers for more information about our current vacancies and training programs.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week 2024 and we’re looking at some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are an alternative route to a successful and fulfilling career. With a whole host of training programs available for our current staff, there’s a vast range of routes to take to elevate your career with City & County.

Let’s jump straight into it.

Myth: Apprentices leave after completing their apprenticeship

Myth Buster: Ninety percent of apprentices remain with the employer after the completion of their mandated coursework. Employers are not obligated to offer permanent employment afterward; they have the discretion to make an employment decision that is best for the business. At City & County Healthcare Group our apprentices are already colleagues and therefore stay with us after.

Myth: It involves extensive paperwork

Myth Buster: The paperwork for registering for an apprenticeship program is simple. Under normal circumstances, the interested candidate has to complete a digital form and submit it electronically. All the data is organised in one place and your apprenticeship is mainly completed online utilising the providers e-Learning system.

Myth: The Apprentice has no control over the programme

Myth Buster: An apprenticeship programme is never set in stone. Workplace needs are ever-changing. However, it is likely that opportunities will arise during, and at the conclusion of, the apprenticeship. The apprentice will have a say in how their apprenticeship is formed and the learning styles that fit each individual.

Myth:  I will just be making tea

Myth Buster: An apprenticeship is a valuable opportunity to receive practical training and learn skills in a formal business environment. Companies offering apprenticeships adhere to strict guidelines. They keep the apprentice busy with work you would be employed in the position you are training towards, and you would be doing the actual job alongside studying.

Myth: Apprenticeships are only for young people

Myth Buster: There is no upper age limit for apprenticeship training. We have apprentices ranging from age 17 to 76 currently completing apprenticeship programmes within the City & County Healthcare Group. Anyone aged 16 and over can enrol onto an apprenticeship.

Myth: Apprentices are poorly paid

Myth Buster: The National Apprenticeship Salary is currently 5.28 per hour; however, City & County Group pay our apprentices as if they were a normal colleague and then National Minimum Wage for their age category.

If you are already employed by City & County Group and start an apprenticeship programme, there will be no changes to your contract or salary.

You will be earning a wage and receive your training at no cost to yourself.

Myth: I can’t do an apprenticeship and work full -time

Myth Buster: Apprenticeship are a vocational way to train and are completed alongside your current job role. No need to take career breaks or leave employment to train. Apprenticeships are also fully funded so won’t cost you a penny! You will need to complete some of the academic work in your own time.

Myth: Apprenticeships are only for the construction or trade industry

Myth Buster: This is no longer the case and hasn’t been for a while. There is a wide breadth of apprenticeship training available across all sectors of our workforce e.g. Finance, I.T, Business Administration, Customer Service, Management, Dental, HCA’s, Nursing Associates, Occupational Therapists and Physios to name a few! New apprenticeship standards are in development all the time.

Myth: Apprenticeships don’t offer the same job opportunities as degrees

Myth Buster: There are numerous apprenticeship pathways available which lead to degree level roles. Apprenticeships can be just as valuable and open up as many opportunities as a degree. Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE) up to Level 7 (Master’s Degree). City & County Healthcare Group currently support 17 different types of apprenticeships.

Myth: Apprenticeships are for the less academic and people who don’t do well at school

Myth Buster: Absolutely not! Apprenticeships can be just as challenging and rewarding as traditional GCSE, A-Level and Degree study programmes. We currently have over 370 apprentices undertaking apprenticeship training from Level 2 (GCSE) right up to Level 7 (Master Degree) level

Myth: Apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications

Myth Buster: There are clear progression routes for apprentices to enable you to attain degrees through the apprenticeship programme.

Myth: Apprenticeships are only for new staff to the business – existing staff don’t qualify

Myth Buster: A majority of our apprentices are staff who are already employed by City & County Healthcare Group. They are making the most of funded apprenticeship training to upskill, pursue promotion or a change of career within the group.

Myth: Apprentices only do menial or low skilled work – apprenticeships are not proper jobs

Myth Buster: Apprentices follow clear training criteria and competencies which involves key tasks and play an important role within their teams. Apprentices start effectively contributing to their job role from day one.

Myth: Apprenticeships are low-quality training options

Myth Buster: The new Apprenticeship Standards launched in 2017 have been designed to improve the quality of apprenticeships and many include professional qualifications e.g. We have 4 staff who are undertaking CIPD apprenticeships.

We hope these myth busters put some of those daunting thoughts to bed.

Looking to join one of the most rewarding industries out there? Visit cch.careers for more information about out current vacancies.

City & County announces a new vision ‘to become the best place to work in care’, prompting changes in the company’s organisational structure and ways of working


In a recent summit, a new vision and focus on a ‘People First’ strategy was agreed upon with senior leaders from across the country. As the largest care company in the UK, City & County’s commitment to improve the employee experience holds the power to revolutionise the sector.

“A primary focus of mine is to put our employees at the heart of the organisation. It is their determination to improve lives and provide an exceptional standard of care that fuels our company,” said Gary Fee, CEO, City & County Healthcare Group.

Fee went on to recognise the Group’s achievements to date, which have ideally positioned them for the next phase of their evolution. “I am proud of what we have accomplished – we have grown both organically and through acquisitions, built a diverse range of services, created a technically advanced multi-platform system and ensured high-quality care for our clients”.

While City & County will continue to push forward on all fronts, their new vision – to become the best place to work in care by prioritising their people – marks an important transformation for the company. “By nurturing our teams and creating a culture of trust, connection and recognition, our people will be at their best to support the happiness of our clients”, said Fee.

To deliver the new vision, multiple ‘people first’ initiatives and a new organisational design was presented at the Leadership Summit. Leaders from across country left the event energised and ready to pioneer a new standard of care that will have a positive impact on both clients and employees.

Professional Care Workers’ Week 


This week is Professional Care Workers’ Week – a campaign hosted by the Care Workers’ Charity, to recognise and celebrate the care workforce. City & County is the largest provider of homecare services in the UK, and we’re proud of our care workforce and its contribution to the care sector.

What is Professional Care Workers’ Week? 

Now in its sixth year – Professional Care Workers’ Week is a celebration of care workers and the essential work they do, created to promote awareness and raise the profile of care workers in the UK.

From 18th – 22nd September the Care Workers’ Charity will be hosting a programme of free online panels and information sessions. Visit the website to find out more.

The Professional Care Workers’ Charity says, “Care is a highly skilled profession, but on the whole, care workers do not get the advantages of being seen as professionals…Professional Care Workers’ Week is an opportunity to raise the profile of care workers in the UK and showcase the fantastic work they do, while providing opportunities for learning and sharing best practice.”


Real Care. Real Impact.

Read the following testimonials from our City & County clients, which demonstrate the extraordinary things they do every day to make a positive difference to people’s lives all over the UK.

• “My two care staff always go above and beyond. I have a lot of confidence in them as they look after me and bath me. I have confidence issues, so they make doctors’ appointments and speak with doctors and hospitals, and arrange my hospital appointments for me, and plenty more.”

• “Adrian is nice, he chats and if I’ve got a problem, I talk to him about it and he listens. He makes me coffee and I can talk. He always knows what I need, and he makes my bed for me. Adrian makes me feel welcome

• “They are very warm, caring and polite and always have a smile on their faces. They are very experienced and have built a rapport with my mother, although she does not speak English.”

• “Jhan is a very good carer. He is so patient with me; he never rushes me, and he does anything I ask of him with no complaints.”

• “She takes time with me; she properly washes my hair and makes me feel like I’m at the spa. She makes me feel special.

• “Krishna is a very good carer who understand me.”

• “When my son passed away, Lisa was there for me. She just listened and to this day she will just listen to me talk about him during her whole visit and never tries to stop me talking about him.”

• “My regular carer always makes me feel like I want to live my life longer.”

• “I think Mandy is great. she always remembers the little things like what food I like and how I like my drinks made. She also has a great sense of humour and is always cheering me up.”

Thank you to all our care workers, who make our clients feel special every day.

National Dementia Carers Day


12th September is National Dementia Carers Day, the aim of which is to recognise informal dementia carers. Looking after a loved one with dementia can be challenging, and so it’s important to understand what it means to be a carer.

Did you know?

  • By 2025, it’s estimated that over one million people in the UK will have a diagnosis of dementia.
  • Dementia can affect a person at any age but it’s more common in people over the age of 65.
  • There are over 200 subtypes of dementia and some of the most common types  are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
  • Symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, confusion, and problems with speech and understanding – that get worse over time.

Many of our City & County care workers also support clients who are living with dementia and they do an extraordinary job. In addition to their paid work,  some of our care workers also care for loved ones at home who are also living with dementia. This can be hugely demanding and requires care to be carried out with patience, kindness and compassion.

Thank you 
We’d like to say a huge thank you to all carers everywhere for the amazing job they do in supporting people who are living with dementia.


Service of the Year – Willow House


Meet the manager – Willow House, Service of the Year

Watch the first part of our interview with Prabhjot Atwal. Prabhjot is the Registered Manager at Willow House, our extra care scheme that operates under London Care.

Thanks to the efforts of Prabhjot and her extraordinary team, Willow House won the ‘Service of the Year Award’ at our City & County Management Awards in June.

In this video, find out more about Willow House, Prabhjot’s role as manager, and what it’s like working at an extra care scheme.


A day to remember at 10 Downing Street


City & County’s CEO Gary Fee, and our fantastic care workers Tony Graham, Amanda Morgan and Neve Beamish were delighted to attend an event at 10 Downing Street on 17th August.

They represented our care workforce at a reception held in recognition of care staff. It was a great opportunity to network and share experiences with others from different care services and providers from across the country. Tony, Amanda and Neve were all Care Heroes Awards finalists this year, with Amanda winning Care Worker of the Year.


“I am proud to have been invited to attend alongside three of City & County’s Care Heroes”

(Gary Fee, CEO)

Gary said: “I was absolutely delighted and privileged to attend a reception for social care staff at No. 10 Downing Street yesterday. The event was held to thank and celebrate care staff across the country for all the amazing work they do every day.

The reception was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet with colleagues across a sector that employs over 1.6m people and delivers care to both the public and private sector. I am proud to have been invited to attend alongside three of City & County’s Care Heroes, Amanda Morgan, Neve Beamish and Tony Graham, who are the most wonderful ambassadors of the sector and our company. You make such a positive difference to people’s lives every day – thank you!

Thanks also to Jane Townson, CEO of the Homecare Association, who works tirelessly to improve the visibility and funding for the care sector.”

The Minister for Care, Helen Whately MP, was in attendance and talked to everyone about their roles; she gave a speech in which she thanked care sector staff for their invaluable contributions to health and social care.

Amanda Morgan, Care Worker of the Year, said: “It was a wonderful experience. We met up with Helen Whatley and she came and spoke to us as a group about our roles. We all felt honoured and privileged. We also felt so special on the day as it was all about us. I never thought I would ever have an invitation to 10 Downing Street; it’s an experience we will never forget. We also can’t thank Gary enough for the day that he gave us. He made us all feel so special, and he looked after us all day.”

The Downing Street event was a fantastic opportunity for our City & County care workers to be recognised for the extraordinary work they do every day, and to share their experiences of the care sector with MP Helen Whately. Gary’s presence at the event will have helped to raise the profile and awareness of City & County Healthcare Group and the vital services we provide.

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

Our City & County care workers often work with clients who have one or more health conditions. These can include diabetes, cancer, spinal injuries, dementia, stroke and others. Some of our clients may also be living with conditions such as spinal muscular atrophy.


Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic condition that makes the muscles weaker and causes problems with movement. It’s important to be aware of the condition and symptoms.

SMA is a serious condition that gets worse over time, but there are treatments to help manage the symptoms.

Symptoms of SMA:
The symptoms of SMA and when they first appear depend on the type of SMA a person has. Typical symptoms include:

• floppy or weak arms and legs
• movement problems – such as difficulty sitting up, crawling or walking
• twitching or shaking muscles (tremors)
• bone and joint problems – such as an unusually curved spine (scoliosis)
• swallowing problems
• breathing difficulties

SMA does not affect intelligence or cause learning disabilities.

You can find out more about the condition on the following website: Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK – SMA Charity (smauk.org.uk)

If you’re interested in becoming a care worker, visit our careers website to see our current vacancies

Our Care Heroes Awards 2023

There were big smiles, tears and much deserved cheers as we announced our Care Heroes 2023 winners at the awards ceremony in Birmingham on 4th July.

Gary Fee, our new group CEO gave an introductory speech welcoming everyone to the awards ceremony. Gary commended the finalists, stating:

“Today is about celebrating you, this is your day, it’s all about you – our care workers. We wouldn’t be able to do our jobs without you. I am honestly astounded and humbled by everything you do each and every day. You work tirelessly from morning to night delivering care to tens of thousands of people. I am amazed by what you do. Thank you.”

Here’s our list of winners for 2023:


Care Coordinator of the Year:

• John Abreu – Guardian Homecare, Preston

Care Team of the Year:

• Angela Diggins and Karen Barnes – Guardian Homecare, Basildon

Changing Lives Award:

• Ola Oshin – Guardian Homecare, Basildon

Specialist Care or Support Worker of the Year:

• Carmen Clemas – Human Support Group, Carmarthen/Pembroke

Field Care Supervisor of the Year Award:

• Jackie Milligan – Constance Care, Blantyre

Above and Beyond Award:

• Antonina Miszczak – Complete Care Amegreen, Telford (Jody Tierney, Antonina’s manager picked up the award on her behalf)

Service of the Year

• Willow House – London Care (Prabhjot Atwal, Branch Manager collected the award)

Lifetime Achievement Award:

• Christine McGee – Careline, Middlesbrough

Care or Support Worker of the Year:

• Amanda Morgan – Abacare, Ebbw Vale


Congratulations to all the winners  (above) and also to the finalists who are also just as deserving. The judging panel found it extremely difficult to decide on the winners from such an excellent and high quality pool of nominations.


Check out our recruitment website for more information about jobs and careers with us.

Our Management Awards winners


While our care workers are at the forefront of what we do, we also have many amazing people who do a fantastic job in keeping City & County operations running smoothly so we can deliver high quality care. The Management Awards are about celebrating such people.

Our 2023 winners on the night were:



WINNER: Quality & Governance Team



WINNER – Ciara Holmes, Business Systems Partner (right, award presented by Catherine Spence, left)



WINNER – Lynsay Beckett – Head of Operational Networks, Complex division ( right, award presented by Sarah Kwofie, left)



WINNER – James Roberts – Director of Business Systems & Analytics, IT (right, award presented by Wendy McCall, left)

Congratulations to our winners, and well done to our nominees and finalists too!

Here at City & County, we are committed to developing our people and teams, no matter what role you are in. Check out our recruitment website for more information about jobs and careers with us.