Double promotion for Shropshire Care Company’s former apprentice

An award-winning Shropshire care company, which took on an apprentice seven years ago has not only promoted her twice, but also helped her gain degree-level qualifications.


An award-winning Shropshire care company, which took on an apprentice seven years ago has not only promoted her twice, but also helped her gain degree-level qualifications.

Sammie Milton, joined Bluebird Care, based in Shrewsbury, seven years ago this month as a business administration apprentice.

She completed her NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration, was taken on permanently and later promoted to Manager’s Assistant, before embarking on degree-level qualifications.

This month, Sammie, was promoted yet again to Recruitment Officer. She will spend the rest of the month shadowing outgoing HR Manager, Ceri Eades, who has also been with the firm for 7 years.

During her time at Bluebird Care, Sammie, from Shrewsbury, completed her QCF Level 5 in Leadership & Management in Health & Social Care and will use her qualifications and experience to help her in her new role of managing the recruitment of staff to the firm.

Ceri, who is leaving the firm at the end of the month, said she was proud of how well staff were looked after and promoted from within.

“We have always been a rapidly growing company and we believe that promoting from within is the best way to get happy, well informed staff who are good at their jobs,” she said.

“During my time here, we have developed several methods to improve business growth and staff retention. Last year we introduced pay rises of up to 55% above minimum wage after reviewing the packages we offered to staff.

“These pay rises were really significant. Everyone in the company regardless of age or experience, earns at least £10 an hour. It was a huge move and we are now reviewing our pay structure for the coming year.  “We want to attract people from other professions, and we believe one way to do this is simply to pay the higher, attractive rates that carers deserve.

“We also want to make sure that pay rates and conditions for our existing staff are maintained and are the best that they can be. We place enormous value on the work of all our care staff working for us, including offering ongoing training and support and promoting from within wherever possible. Sammie will be taking over all of these initiatives and knows first-hand what opportunities the company can offer.”

Sammie, from Shrewsbury, said: “I started out as an apprentice as I wanted to gain some qualifications while working. But I had no idea I would enjoy working for a care company and all that it entails so much. I have been so supported by Bluebird Care to continue training and have now got a degree-level qualification and have had two promotions.

“Even while studying and working towards my QCF Level 5, I took on a range of shorter distance learning courses in areas such as mental health, dementia and safeguarding and I will continue to do those. I want to stay in the company and keep taking on any more training which comes up and I feel totally supported to do that. The training has helped me so much because in my new role I will be recruiting staff to the company and I have a good understanding of the sector and what is needed to work within in.

Director of Care, Claire Flavell, employed Sammie as an apprentice, before promoting her to her own assistant. The company will now be recruiting a new apprentice into the role.

“We were not only delighted to take Sammie on permanently on completion of her apprenticeship, but also to help her gain more qualifications, and as a result of her dedication and hard work in the company, promotions,” she said.

“It’s a great example of what can be achieved when you start out with a role in care work and we have seen many of our employees climb the ranks from care assistant to senior positions such as supervisor and care manager. We have also seen staff leave Bluebird Care to train to become nurses and doctors, and this is all down to the positive experience they have had working in care,” she added.