Two Dundee youths have been given valuable work experience – and a peek into life in a busy care home – as part of a drive to increase apprenticeship opportunities.
Balhousie St Ronans, part of the award-winning Balhousie Care Group, currently has two teenagers on work experience placements in its kitchen, where Head Chef Daniel Inglis has been sharing his expertise.
James Davidson, 15, is on work experience from St John’s RC High School in Dundee while Matthew Craig, 15, a student at Dundee’s Morgan Academy, is doing a placement as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.
James did so well during a week of work experience at the care home that his school agreed to him continuing to spend a day a week there. Chef Daniel knew Matthew’s mother and that he was having difficulty gaining kitchen experience for his DoE award, because of his age. Balhousie St Ronans agreed to take him on.
Daniel is known for matching a busy work schedule with extra-curricular mentoring to young people. He said: “I come in here in my own time to mentor them and when I’m working I’ll stay late to teach. I don’t teach people for credit or thanks, I do it because I love passing on what other chefs have taught me over the years. In catering there is no better feeling. I couldn’t be prouder of both young lads.”
Apprenticeships play an important role in Balhousie Care Group’s corporate agenda. And as the Perth-based firm celebrates Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019, running all of next week, it revealed that it has been involved in more than 120 apprenticeships in the last two years.
Balhousie St Ronans care home manager Denise McCorkindale said:
“Our care homes are as much a part of the community as they are homes for our residents. That’s why it’s important to us to invite in school and college pupils to soak up the experience of working in a care home and providing the services we do. Daniel is to be commended for his hard work in mentoring, and the whole care home team for taking James and Matthew under their wing.”
Claire Docherty, Head of Operations at Balhousie Care Group, said:
“We see it as our duty as an employer to provide opportunities for our local youth. Apprenticeships and work-based learning play an increasingly important role for our youth and our workforce and we’re proud to be involved with them.”