Jules Leahy, Co-Founder & Business Development Director at STEPS Rehabilitation
Jules Leahy, Co-Founder & Business Development Director at STEPS Rehabilitation, explains how taking a flexible approach to apprenticeships benefits the company, its team, and its clients.

What is Steps Rehabilitation?

STEPS Rehabilitation is an independent care-provider offering intensive and ongoing rehabilitation for people recovering from brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and trauma injuries.

The family business was founded in May 2017 by myself, my Sister Toria Chan, and our Father Ray Boulger. We work from a unique purpose-built, 23 bedroom, residential and day rehabilitation facility in Sheffield, which was initially funded through self-equity, a loan and a grant secured from the SYMCA Regional Growth Fund.

We provide specialist nursing care and rehabilitation to people who are medically stable and able to leave hospital. We are not a long-term facility, and the goal is always to get people back into their own homes, which are often adapted to be fully accessible whilst they are with us. Our client group have all suffered complex injuries and need specialist rehabilitation and additional support after leaving hospital to enable them to rebuild their lives, gain confidence in carrying out day to day activities, and reach their full potential.

How many people do you employ and how many of these are apprentices?

We now have 140 people employed within our business which comprises both clinical and non-clinical staff. We currently have two employees actively working towards an apprenticeship, and another who has recently completed an apprenticeship. This means we now have the funding available to register more staff onto an apprenticeship programme, which we are discussing internally and looking at setting up soon.

Why are apprenticeships important to your business?

All our apprentices play an integral role in ensuring that STEPS Rehabilitation runs smoothly. Both our current and previous learners have proven to be extremely valuable members of our team, not just for their fellow colleagues but also for our clients.

Taking on an apprentice helps us to bridge any skills gaps we are facing and create an ever-evolving talent pool within our business. For example, one of our admin team is now completing a level 3 Apprenticeship in HR after learning about the different roles available in our business. For this she is working closely with our HR and Admin Managers to gain the knowledge and experience she needs to secure the qualification whilst also supporting these departments with their workload. What apprenticeships does STEPS Rehabilitation offer?

The apprenticeships we offer cover everything from non-clinical roles such as nursing associate, facilities management, catering, and admin to degree level qualification such as nursing and physiotherapy. To date all our Apprentices have been existing team members who have chosen their own path and qualifications. Provided the apprenticeships are relevant to our business and a good fit for the team, we are quite flexible.

We find this approach helps us to attract the right talent to our business, gives something back to the apprentice and helps them to remain enthusiastic about their work.

What advice would you offer to other businesses considering taking on an apprentice?

Taking on an apprenticeship can be a big commitment for businesses of all sizes, however, don’t let this put you off! From our experience we have found that if the apprentice is willing to invest their time and efforts to learn, we are confident that they are worth investing our time in too.

If you have a role to fulfil or want to develop your own talent for the future, then you should definitely get in touch with your local training provider to discuss your options. You won’t regret it! For more information on Steps Rehabilitation, visit: