Helen has completed her Level 2 Health and Social Care Apprenticeship and is currently in the process of completing her Level 3 Standard Lead Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship at Avante Care Court Regis Care Home in Sittingbourne. IPS spoke to Helen, to find out about her Apprenticeship experience and how the training for the Standard Apprenticeships works…
“I started work as a cleaner at another home, but left to have a child, I then went back to work in another care home again as a cleaner and while there I helped a little with some care support jobs that gave me an interest in a career in care. I have now been at Court Regis Care Home for 8 years, as a Care Assistant working on the night shift, continuing to progress my skills within my Apprenticeships and other training. Court Regis has worked with IPS for numerous years, in regards to training. I completed my Level 2 Apprenticeship, which I was very pleased about and this made me want to progress onto a Level 3 course and because Avante as an employer invest in our training and allowed us to enrol onto a Level 3 Standard Apprenticeship.
As well as my Level 2 Apprenticeship programme, I also passed my Level 1 Functional Skills exams in Maths and English and have recently upskilled and passed those at Level 2, the equivalent of an A-C grade in GSCE, this looks good on my CV too. The IPS Trainers were fantastic and so helpful in all aspects of my training including Functional skills by adding extra visits and practice sessions.
My IPS Trainer (Lou – Left of top photo) has been accommodating with my Apprenticeship and any questions I have, she is always on hand to answer before a visit. There are four of us doing the Level 3 Apprenticeship here at the Care Home and any questions we may have, we can ask and help support each other. We have even had group sessions and discussions, which has helped.
My Level 3 Apprenticeship has already broadened my knowledge and I have done my observations and got feedback on those recently. It’s also been covering policies and human rights and I have learned more on health and safety, safeguarding and the protected characteristics. I have looked at case studies and the four different types of dementia. On both of my Apprenticeships, I’ve enjoyed completing the written work. I have been working through my Welfare and Personal Development Workbook , previously I never had to do an End-Point Assessment, my IPS Trainer and I have gone through and set dates to prepare for this. End-Point Assessment will take place at the end of my Apprenticeship, I understand that part of the EPA is I must have an interview with the Awarding Body (City & Guilds) and complete an exam. I’m slightly nervous about doing this, but I feel my Apprenticeship is giving me more confidence to deal with things like this.
My confidence has grown by doing my Apprenticeship; I have hearing difficulties and I struggle to hear on the phone and try to avoid answering the phone sometimes. To overcome this I have been working with my Team Leader who has been getting me to help the nurses by ringing them and getting use to the phones more frequently, giving me more confidence in that area. I have also acted as a mentor to new staff on night shift.
Another reason why I wanted to progress to the Level 3, is I had previously done a bit of medication training and a three-day first aid course, as I wanted to help support my Team Leader as much as I can. Recently, I have been shadowing them to learn about medications. Going forward I need to do some further observations then my Manager will sign my work off and I can put my new skills to good use.
My youngest child is seven, so right now, night shifts are more suitable but I may switch to day shifts in the future. I am interested in potentially being a Team Leader, it has more responsibility around medication and is an extremely important role as you’re dealing with people’s lives. Lou, my Trainer, believes I can be a good Team Leader as I do give good support to others.
Opportunities do open up by doing an Apprenticeship; it shows commitment to your self-development and to your employer. I would recommend Apprenticeships and IPS as a training provider to others, they are flexible, willing and reliable and I would consider doing more training with them as I’m interested in doing the end of life short course.
Apprenticeships are a positive thing; you’re learning and earning at the same time. For the younger generation, it gives you confidence and gets you into the workplace and doesn’t just throw you in at the deep end, and for the older generation, it helps you upskill and is a great way to change your career path.”
Helen Weaver - Level 2 Health and Social Care and Standard Level 3 Lead Adult Care Worker Apprenticeships