Progressing at Oaklea - succession planning & career paths

This page goes into more detail on what we do at Oaklea in terms of helping people progress their career - you will also find examples of employees who have risen through the ranks as it were.


Oaklea have been making great use of the Apprentice Levy and have been supporting Manager’s to obtain their Level 5 Diploma in Management. A number of employees have applied through internal vacancies when new Team Supervisor positions have arisen and those who have been successful in obtaining a promotion through Oaklea’s succession planning process have embraced the change.

All Team Supervisors are currently attending training sessions run by HR or from external training partners to help support them in their new roles. Training consists of supervision, performance and achievement, recruitment, grievance, disciplinary and managing performance. Being a Team Supervisor enables employees to manage a small team of Lifestyle Co-ordinators (LSC -Support Worker) who act as a coach and mentor to employees within the team. This enables the Team Manager to spend time concentrating on the quality, safety and management of their area of responsibility. Oaklea’s reward to Team Supervisors following their six month probation period is a fully paid qualification level 2 Diploma in Team Leading. Team Supervisors have been able to enhance their current skills, learn new and exciting tasks and take on a small amount of additional responsibility.

If any employees are interested in further development within the organisation please contact a member of the HR team who will be happy to discuss this with you.

Helen Shaw, HR Manager


The 1st week of February marks National Apprenticeship Week. As part of this we are giving a 'heads up to the launch of the Oaklea Apprentice Academy in September 2021 in conjunction with Kendal College. We are looking for two outstanding apprentices to join us specialising in Health & Social Care.

The Apprenticeship will last for two years and will consist of 30 hours per week paid work and one day per week at college, undertaking the theory work with your Social Care Tutor. Over the two years you will gain first hand experience working in various work locations and with customers with varying needs and learning and physical disabilities. The customers you work with will vary in age from children to older adults. At the end of the programme apprentices will get a recognised qualification of Level 3 in Adult Social Care and will have the opportunity to join Oaklea as a permanent employee.

Close to home - we've got some Apprentice success stories on our own doorstep. This is James who works in our Finance Team at Oaklea HQ in Kendal.
He's about to complete his Apprenticeship - this has included 1 day a week at Kendal College. He is then lucky (!) enough to spend the rest of the week as a key part of the Finance Team that ensures everything at Oaklea Group adds up:

Another great example is Sam - he's an Apprentice at Community Works and Right2Work. He really gets a lot out of his Apprenticeship and is full of positive vibes for the whole idea of doing an Apprenticeship:

At the end of National Apprentice Week - James had this fine summary of what doing an Apprenticeship is all about: "They're a very great way of being able to gain learning experience in the college and in the workplace. It allows you to gain a better insight of the job you potentially want to pursue. You also have the advantage of being able to learn from the people you work with in a practical setting rather than just in practice. However, one of the better advantages is that while learning you get paid and work pays for your qualifications!"


The stories below shared by North East based colleagues Bob Parkinson and Nichola Bainbridge are real life examples of the success career progression has been for these employees at Oaklea Trust.

NICHOLA BAINBRIDGE (Seen in this image with some of the people she supports)

I have been an employee for the Oaklea trust since August 2008. I started my job as a Lifestyle Co-ordinator (LSC) supporting adults with learning disabilities in supported living. I have completed all training that is required to complete my job role such as NVQ level 3 in Health and Social Care, LDAF, Administering medication, Safeguarding etc. In June 2016, I became a Team Supervisor and recently completed my level 2 Team leader award with Northumbria College. I have enjoyed being a LSC and still enjoy my current role as a Team Supervisor. I still support customers to complete activities and everyday living.

As a Team Supervisor, I have completed other training such as;

  • P&A (personal and achievements)
  • Supervisions
  • Payroll
  • Manager Workshops
  • ITRENT (Oaklea HR system)
  • IPLANIT (online system for storing customer information)
  • Team Building

These workshops help me fulfil my Job Role as a Team Supervisor and if I need more training then it is always available for me. I would recommend to anyone if they wanted to progress their role within the Oaklea Trust, as they will be supported to develop themselves through training and mentoring.


I started working for the Oaklea Trust in March of 2005. Standard training followed including LDAF (Learning Disabilities Award Framework), Health, and Hygiene level 2 and 3 as well as all the mandatory training needed to complete my role. In November of 2012, I started a new role as Team Supervisor with Oaklea and I thoroughly enjoy my role. I then completed a Team Leader level 2 diploma with Derwentside College in Consett. Training is always available to help me in my role. In December of 2018, I passed NVQ 3 in Management. I have since completed training in all aspects of team leadership including:

  • Team building
  • Pay roll
  • Performance evaluation
  • Supervision and appraisals
  • Time management
  • Report writing

For anyone aspiring to progress within their role at Oaklea I can recommend this as you will be supported to develop yourself through training and mentoring.

Stay with Oaklea - you go places...

This is our West Cumbria Homecare Manager, Tracy Haughin. Tracy has been with Oaklea for 8 years - she originally started as a community homecare worker and now manages our teams "out West" - so if you join us you can progress - it's really down to you (with a little help from us!).


In the Autumn of 2019 we took on Richard as an intern as part of his University course at UCLAN in Preston (see more background here Welcome back Richard!) - he finished with us in March 2020 and helped us a great deal with the launch of our new Young People’s offer - including establishing a database of around 250 schools etc.

Here he reflects on his time at Oaklea….we think he enjoyed it:

In April 2020 he will be presenting to UCLAN regarding his time with us.


“The Oaklea Group have a number of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA’s) trained by Mental Health First Aid England in providing mental health and wellbeing support for adults and children. The MHFA’s are trained to support colleagues, customers and learners in times of need with their mental health and wellbeing.”

Above - Oaklea employees taking part in the training via Zoom

In order to obtain support from one of the MHFA’s - contact can be made through the person’s line manager/key point of contact and/or a member of the HR Team. Helen Shaw, HR Manager will allocate a MHFA to the person requiring support.

Above - the workbooks used by Oaklea Training Officer Pete Embling for the sessions

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Second Floor,
East Wing,
Station House, Station Road, Kendal
Cumbria LA9 6RY

Telephone. 01539 735 025