“The Apprenticeship Scheme has provided me with a new, different way to learn, whilst also working”
I joined Look Ahead in September 2015 as part of their Apprenticeship Scheme. Before this, I was working in customer services in a local supermarket. As part of my job, I used to come into contact with a lot of vulnerable people – including some of the customers that I now support.
At school, I didn’t feel like I reached my potential. The Apprenticeship Scheme has provided me with a new, different way to learn, whilst also working. It’s been a good opportunity to push myself and do something different. It’s very hands-on and within a few weeks of starting I was doings shifts at a service which was great.
As well as the practical learning, I would also meet with my assessor once a month to discuss some of the tasks I had to complete, which could be anything from an essay to a set of questions.
The great thing about the scheme is that you start getting experience from the very start. Even though I have only been a Support Worker since October, thanks to my apprenticeship I already have a year’s experience under my belt.
I would definitely recommend the Apprenticeship Scheme to anyone thinking about a job in the health and care sector; it’s a great way to gain experience and a formal qualification.
My service supports 20 customers with learning disabilities and I directly support a number of these individuals. I also run our service newsletter which helps keep everyone up to date with what is going on around the service.
Like a lot of people, before I started working for Look Ahead, I probably had a particular perception of people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. There can be a lot of stereotyping, but once you actually get to know the people we work with, you realise that they are just like anyone else.
I am already looking at how I can work towards progressing within the organisation and becoming a Team Leader. Outside of work, I am also looking at volunteering opportunities in the local community as I think my experience here at Look Ahead could really help.