Apprenticeship in Adult Social Care

Posted: 2nd of October 2014 by Zara

Bill left school at the age of 15, with little plans for his future career. However, that changed very quickly when aged 18, he began his chosen Apprenticeship in adult social care. He has successfully gained two years’ invaluable experience at Hand in Hand. Bill is looking forward to progressing further in his support worker role before going on to fulfil his ambition of a long, rewarding career in adult social care.

“The Apprenticeship has been a fantastic stepping stone into the world of social care and will help me to progress a career in this sector. I want to work my way up and see where it takes me. I’ve put my heart into my care role and feel that this is the area where my future lies.”

Bill is the second generation of care professionals in his family. He has grown up surrounded by family members who have worked in social care for as long as he can remember. His mother and step-father also recently joined the Hand in Hand organisation as service managers. They inspired Bill to pursue a career in social care from an early age. Bill’s step-brother has autism, so personal experience of supporting his care needs had given him a real insight into care work. It was one of the triggers that led Bill to consider a career in social care, particularly supporting young adults.

After school, Bill went onto college for a year, which he didn’t particularly enjoy. He did, however, take on board some careers advice from his tutors and had lengthy discussions with his mother about the best way to enter the social care sector. When he turned 16, he felt ready to approach the Hand-in-Hand organisation to discuss and progress an Apprenticeship opportunity. He hasn’t looked back.

“An Apprenticeship is a very good starting block and you can gain much more insight and experience than simply being in a classroom environment.” During his first year at Hand-in-Hand, Bill successfully completed his NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care, which he was overwhelmed with. He hadn’t, until then, felt very confident with anything academic. He believes that the practical aspects of the Apprenticeship have really helped to put the theory into perspective. He is already planning to start his Level 3 part of the Apprenticeship in the near future.

“The Apprenticeship has really helped me, because I struggled with paperwork at school. Working in a care organisation gives you exposure to real scenarios and this has helped me to understand and visualise things much better.”

A role in social care Hertfordshire-based Hand in Hand is a small, round-the-clock residential care organisation that supports young adults with learning disabilities through either one-to-one or shared care services. Bill is part of a team of 25 care professionals that work shifts to care for four male and two female service users with autism and challenging behaviour.

Bill’s role is to support service users with their everyday needs. It took a few months to learn the ropes, but on reflection Bill believes that this period is required to build trusting, working relationships with service users.

“I thoroughly enjoy my Apprenticeship and it’s not just a job to me. I enjoy going out and about with service users, whether that’s to the cinema, day care clubs or the park. Because I love my role, even a 12 hour shift can go so quickly.”

Speaking about daily challenges in his role, Bill explains that he can overcome and manage these through his newfound confidence and his greater appreciation of service users’ non-verbal communication. He talks passionately about the enormous satisfaction achieved through the Apprenticeship.

“The skills acquired through the Apprenticeship help you to cope and to become much better at your job. Your confidence grows all the time as you work with individuals and understand their capabilities and daily needs.”

Throughout his Apprenticeship, Bill has felt very well supported by his peers and mentors who have helped him to develop his social care skills, gain experience and achieve his NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care. Flexible, on-site training has been made readily available to him through his team leader. Bill has also worked alongside another apprentice at Hand in Hand and found this to be particularly useful in terms.

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