|Casa da Poesia – A three stage protocol to onboard apprentices
Casa da Poesia is a Portuguese health and social care institution, offering their customers a variety of services, such as integrated continuous care, nursing home, senior day care, senior home care, kinder garden and pre-school. They started to onboard apprentices back in 2011, due to the many requests received from neighbouring professional and higher education institutions as well as from the Portuguese Ministry of Employment (which runs a national apprenticeship scheme). Casa da Poesia hosts, nowadays, an average of 12 apprentices per year, from VET (EQF 4) and HVET (EQF 5+) levels, in a variety of professions, such as kitchen assistants, personal care aides, healthcare and social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, sports specialists, physical therapists, gerontologists, and human resources specialists.
At Casa da Poesia, apprentices are welcomed by the quality manager and the welcoming protocol has three stages:
1) A first meeting, conducted by the quality manager, where the apprentice introduces her/himself and is given a set of documents that reflect the culture of the organization – Mission, Vision, Quality Policy and Ethic Code – and an explanation about them. S/he is also given two documented job descriptions (the Apprenticeship job description and the job description of the role s/he will be mentored in, e.g Nurse), an identification badge and, if applicable, depending on the role, a uniform;
2) A guided visit, lead by the quality manager, to the whole organization and its spaces;
3) An introductory meeting with the apprentice´s mentor, where the apprenticeship scope, general tasks and evaluation methodology, previously agreed between Casa da Poesia and the education institution or ministry, is reviewed, clarified and adapted as needed.
Casa da Poesia is very happy with the outcomes of their apprenticeship programme experience so far, as they feel it provides moments of reciprocal learning, which strengthens their workforce and organizational knowledge: The customers often express their contentment in having the apprentices new faces around them with whom to chat and perform their daily activities and staff is given the possibility to get in touch with new practices and to diversify their performance.
So far, Casa da Poesia has hired 13 apprentices. The number of apprenticeship candidates is growing every year, as not only the educational institutions and ministry are satisfied with the programme outcomes, but the apprentices themselves pass the word to other students. This is seen by Casa da Poesia as an added value, as it improves the external dissemination and recognition of the services they provide and allows them to consolidate their vision to “interact proactively with the social, cultural and economic actors in the region”.