What's it like to be an Apprentice?

Posted on
30 October 2020

 

Karen and Ann are Support Coordinators at Hoyles and Sunnybank. They have helped Holly and Kim through their apprenticeship with Persona and we asked them what makes a good candidate.

 

At Persona, we strive to support customers and staff to live their best life, so it comes as no surprise that for a successful apprentice to thrive here, a quality that they must show, as Ann put it, is that they are “keen to learn and dedicated to getting the best outcomes for customers.” This job comes with daily challenges and no two days are the sam

e. Karen sees the key qualities (which are in line with Persona’s REACH values) for a successful apprentice as being:

  • Passion to deal with challenges we face each day with our customers, if they have passion they will think about how we can all improve ourselves and do a better job for our customers outcomes. 
  • Patience, as very little happens overnight for our customers, it can be by constant repetition doing the same things with them.
  • Enthusiasm and willingness to learn new things, adapting these things to how we could support customers to do the same tasks but in their own way.
  • Communication with staff and being able to work confidently as part of the team. They will learn new communications skills through working with our customers and picking up on their non-verbal communication. 
  • Being honest. I think when they feel comfortable with the staff team and managers, they will speak up when something doesn’t seem right.

 

 

 

 

If you have watched the videos above, with Holly and Kim, and Molly, you will see that our successful apprentices, who are now full time staff, didn’t actually see care as their first choice. The opportunity arose and they gave it a go.

So do you need to know what you are going to do for the rest of your life before signing up to be a Persona Apprentice? Karen doesn’t think so.

“No I don’t feel that they do necessarily. Kim finished college as she was fed up with the classroom work but didn’t really want a permanent job in case she didn’t like it.  I’m sure if she was asked now she would say she loves her job.  As an apprentice they have opportunities to meet and work with a variety of outside agencies that they may feel a pull towards, ie Social Work team, Mental Health team, Speech and Language in the same way that Molly has go on to do her nursing degree. I think they develop a natural pull to something over a period of time although we have had people who are certainly not suited to the job at all, but luckily these case are few and far between.”

So that is what is expected from a potential apprentice, but what can an apprentice expect from their line managers?

“Initially we would give them a buddy to work with for about a month until they find their feet. We help the apprentices organise their time to work towards their care certificate, we also use a progression tracker to keep up to date with  where they are up to.  We do more 1-2-1‘s over a 6 month period to make sure all is ok with them and their job, as sometimes they have never had a job before or worked with a group of staff.   We liaise with training provider tutors once they have been allocated to do their Adult Care Worker Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard and give them time to do coursework and point them in the right direction for info they need.”

 

Persona’s values are REACH: Respectable, Enthusiastic, Adaptable, Caring and Honest. Click here to find out more about our purpose and values.