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21 February 2022

Start your career in care with an apprenticeship.

WeCare Wales have met with apprentices, employers and learning providers to understand the benefits of an apprenticeship in care.

Between 21 February and 13 March 2022, we will meet past and present apprentices. They will share their experiences and explain why they think you should earn as you learn.

If you are over 16, want to gain experience and get paid then an
apprenticeship might be the right option for you. While working you will study towards a qualification relevant to the role you are employed to do.

If you’re considering a career in care and want to know more about the apprenticeship opportunities available, visit our apprenticeship page.

Naomi Fere, Student Social Worker (former Apprentice)

Naomi experienced the care system first hand growing up in foster care and wanted to use her experiences to help other young people in similar situations.

Naomi Frere

While working for her local council’s finance department, the apprenticeship provided Naomi with the perfect opportunity to begin a career in social care while crucially allowing her to continue to earn a wage.

Naomi says “I wasn’t in a position where I could just go into full education and not be earning a wage.”

“So my apprenticeship allowed me to earn and gain the qualification I needed to continue in my career path”

The qualification Naomi gained from her apprenticeship gave her the additional UCAS points she required to apply for an undergraduate place at University of South Wales where she is now a third year Student Social Worker.

More information on Naomi here.

 

Gareth John, Youth Worker (former Apprentice)

Gareth always had a passion for working with young people and found his calling as a Youth Worker thanks to his apprenticeship with Ceredigion County Council.

Gareth John

It wasn’t long after joining the scheme that Gareth realised how important the role of Youth Workers play in the lives of many vulnerable young people.

He says “Working with young people is quite a rewarding job. You build a positive relationship with them. It’s nice to see them thrive or just making them a more confident person and giving them more opportunities.”

Gareth believes the experience he gained during his apprenticeship was a crucial stepping stone to begin his career in social care.

More information about Gareth here.

 

Callum Fennell – Apprentice

After struggling to engage with school, Callum was supported to take on a placement at a local care home where his respect and care for residents made him the perfect candidate for an apprenticeship in social care.

Callum Fennell

Callum’s confidence has continued to grow as he has progressed through his qualification where he has been supported by a personal mentor who is able to tailor his responsibilities to include more complex care such as emergencies when he becomes ready.

Despite the challenges, Callum’s pride and satisfaction in his work is rooted in the appreciation and gratitude shown by the residents he cares for.

In a handwritten letter from one resident, they described him as a “born carer”.

More information about Callum here.

 

Emily Free, Student Social Worker (former Apprentice)

Emily Free

After completing her undergraduate degree in English Literature, Emily applied for an apprenticeship in social care to find a career where she could make a difference.

Despite having no previous experience in the sector, the apprenticeship provided Emily with a hands-on and nurturing learning environment where she could shadow experienced professionals and senior practitioners.

“[It] says a lot about the apprenticeship that you don’t really need that experience before you go into it. You learn on the job. It’s a very rewarding experience to go through.” says Emily.

“I never felt like I was being pushed to do things that were out of my comfort zone until I was ready.”

Upon completion of her apprenticeship, Emily enrolled on a Masters degree in Social Care at Cardiff University with the hope of qualifying as a social worker.

More information about Emily here.

 

 

Naomi Lovesay, Monmouthshire County Council

In 2019, Naomi helped launch the Social Care and Health Apprenticeship Scheme within Monmouthshire County Council to create a pathway for those interested in a career in care.

Naomi Lovesay

Naomi used her own experience from studying as a physiotherapist to create a rotational placement approach so that apprentices could gain experience in a wide variety of roles to help them find the right profession for them within care.

The six apprentices chosen for the scheme came from a range of different ages and life experiences. From 17 to 40 year olds, school leavers to career changers, the apprenticeship was open to anyone who could demonstrate the right qualities such as empathy, compassion and respect.

Naomi says

“We can teach them the specific skills of a role, but we absolutely need someone with the right values to be able to provide the best care possible for our residents.”

Of those six apprentices, five are now in full time care roles within Monmouthshire County Council.

More information about Naomi here.

 

 

Chloe Paterson, Daytime Opportunity Support Worker

We spoke with Chloe Paterson, who recently completed an apprenticeship programme and works for Rhondda County Council as a Daytime Opportunity Support Worker. On a day to day basis, she supports adults with learning disabilities in a variety of activities, building up their independence and teaching them new skills….

Why did you want to work in care?

I wanted to learn more about adults with learning disabilities. My brother is autistic, and I wanted to have a stronger bond with him.

How did you start working in the care sector?

I left school at 16 and did the pathway course at Coleg Y Cymoedd. As part of the one-year course I had to do a placement in a day centre, where I am currently working.  I had to complete assessments and assignments, and my tutor would come out to watch me working with individuals.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

When I finished my pathway course a staff member told me about Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s apprenticeship and encouraged me to do it.

What did you have to do to gain the apprenticeship?

A staff member at the day centre gave me the application and then I was contacted for an interview.

The applications are available on Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s website.

What was the apprenticeship like?

It was a two year apprenticeship where I completed my level 2 and 3 qualifications. My tutor would come and speak with me and my manager at the day centre to see how I was getting on. I was left to do my work and I never felt like anyone was on my case.

I could have done my studying during my work hours, but I never did, I always studied it in the evening. I enjoyed my role interacting with the individuals in my care, watching them grow and develop.

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship in care?

Definitely go for it! It’s really worth it. You’re getting paid to learn and there’s a lot of support.

I wasn’t a fan of school, I like being practical rather than in the classroom so having the apprenticeship helped me massively.

https://youtu.be/OtOl8bUDC38

 

Lleucu Edwards, Leader of Cylch Meithrin Eco Tywi

We spoke with Lleucu Edwards, the Leader of Cylch Meithrin Eco Tywi, who has just finished her Level 5 Leadership and Management in Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development apprenticeship through the medium of Welsh…

Lleucu Edwards

Lleucu Edwards, Leader of Cylch Meithrin Eco Tywi

Why did you decide to do a Level 5 apprenticeship?

Childminders, day care and play services in Wales are registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) and they advise Cylch leaders to complete Level 5 training.

I had just started my role as Cylch Meithrin Eco Tywi’s Leader when the COVID-19 outbreak happened. So during lockdown I decided to complete my Level 5 training.

What experience did you have in childcare before completing your Level 5 apprenticeship?

During and after my BA Degree in Early Years Education, I gained a lot of experience working with children in nurseries, schools and with Urdd Gobaith Cymru.

Why did you choose to do ACT Training’s apprenticeship course?

Due to my varied and experienced background I was able to complete the apprenticeship while working and learn on the job. I was fortunate enough that there was a grant available with ACT training and my training was free.

Why did you choose to complete your training in Welsh?

Welsh is my first language. I have completed all my education through the medium of Welsh – school, university and apprenticeships. I also work with children through the medium of Welsh in Cylch Meithrin Eco Tywi.

How long did your apprenticeship take to complete?

I started my Level 5 apprenticeship at the end of May 2020 and I finished it in January this year.

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?

It’s great! I’d recommend taking the opportunity to do an apprenticeship as you focus on specific units that develop your information and skills.

How do you see your career developing in the future?

I’ve always wanted to work with children. Seeing children develop brings me joy.

I will continue to develop my skills and attend relevant training. It’s important to me that I give my best to the children I care for.

 

Sion Page, Services Manager

We spoke with Sion Page, a Services Manager for Integra Community Living, who supports individuals in residential care homes for a short period of time following discharge from hospital…

Sion Page, Services Manager

Can you describe your role?

I am the Services Manager for two residential care homes in Carmarthen, supporting people with mental health problems. The purpose of the homes is to help people develop social skills and adapt to living independently in society after leaving hospital.

Why did you want to work in care?

I didn’t know I wanted to until I worked in care.

I left school and went to work in Matalan, where I developed and became a manager. I then went on to work in a GP practice for six months.

I got a phone call from a friend of mine who worked in care, to say that a care home for men with mental health problems was opening in Carmarthen. My friend had worked for the company for years and thought the job would suit me well. I was interviewed and offered the job.

How did you become a service manager?

About a year later there was an opportunity to help out a little more as a member of staff was unwell. If I wanted to do the job full-time I had to complete my qualifications.

Integra Community Living support their staff to complete training and apprenticeships relevant to their role with The Educ8 Group. I completed a level 3 apprenticeship and then went on to complete a level 5 apprenticeship, working while gaining the qualifications.

Why did you complete your apprenticeships through the medium of Welsh?

I started my first apprenticeship in English. Two to three units into the apprenticeship my assessor asked if I spoke Welsh and if I preferred to complete the apprenticeship through the Welsh language. I felt like I was taking in more of the information in Welsh.

What is it like working in care?

I thought care was just personal care, but there is so much more. I didn’t know there were services like this available.

Working in care gives you a great sense of achievement. I enjoy this kind of work and it’s the best job I’ve ever had.

Why should people consider working in care?

This is the most rewarding job anyone can have! The job gives you complete pride, knowing that you are helping people.

Find a job in care

If you’re thinking of a career in care, take a look at our jobs board to get an idea of the type of roles available.