Boosting your career in care with apprenticeships

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Zenzy Flower stands against a plain white wall. She has blond hair, and is wearing a black and gold top.

Zenzy Flowers has progressed from a carer to a Registered Manager for ND Care & Support, and she puts her success down to her commitment to continuous learning and development through apprenticeships.

With a young family to support in her late teens, it was important for Zenzy to enter the world of work and start earning. She discovered that, through apprenticeships, she could still keep up her education, while providing for her daughter.

Zenzy said: “After my GCSEs, I went to college to study Access to Nursing, but dropped out fairly quickly to work as a carer. I had my daughter at age 19 so as much as I wanted an education, it was important for me to be able to provide.

“Shortly afterwards, I decided to study my Level 2 Health & Social Care qualification. At the time, studying an apprenticeship was better than going to college as I was earning money while learning.

“Gaining a qualification alongside my job and doing it all while getting paid was really important when I had a young child in the house. I was spurred to do my Level 3 for of these same reasons.”

Zenzy studied with Educ8 Training. Through work-based learning, apprentices are able to earn a real living wage whilst they learn. The qualifications are flexible and enabled Zenzy to fit her studies around work and home life.

Apprenticeships are easy to Balancing apprenticeships with family life

Apprenticeships aren’t just for people starting out in their career, they are for all ages and career stages.

“I found it easy to balance the qualification with my family life. There were set days I would meet my assessor to get my course work done. I loved the flexibility, to be able to study the course when it was convenient to me, instead of being in college Monday to Friday.

Whilst completing my Level 5 Health & Social Care qualification, I was pregnant with my son and I was fully supported with flexible sessions and a steady workflow to complete the course in my own time.

“I’ve had absolutely amazing assessors over the years and I’ve always been supported. They were very flexible with me when I needed more time to complete units. They were always looking for ways to reduce the stress levels and keep me motivated.

“Studying for these qualifications has been great as it has helped me move through promotions in work and work my way up the career ladder. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Educ8 Training or ND Care & Support.”

Managing the branch from a fresh perspective

After completing all of her Health & Social Care qualifications, Zenzy was offered a promotion as Registered Manager of ND Care & Support’s Abertillery branch. Two years and a pandemic later, Zenzy has gained a new point of view.

“Moving into a new position with no experience in that job role while working in the care sector when the pandemic hit was difficult. At that point, I had done everything that I could in Health and Social Care apart from go to university. I was new to a management role. I can talk about care all day long, but I didn’t feel confident in managing a branch, so I approached Educ8 Training again and found out about the ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) qualifications.”

ILM apprenticeships cover management techniques and styles. Learners study how to lead a team and adopt skills in practice. The qualifications help support managers to take on higher-level responsibilities.

“I decided to start with the Level 4 and progress to the Level 5. I just wasn’t familiar with the role, so I wanted to make sure I had the background knowledge needed. Educ8 were really supportive in my decision. I am now on my last meeting for my Level 5 so am due to complete it soon.

“It has supported me with the management of my team and the branch through understanding the strengths in my leadership and communication skills. Trying to navigate the pressures of being a manager during a pandemic has been hard, but doing the ILM has definitely supported me through it.”

Reaching your potential

Zenzy has not only benefitted on a personal level, but many of her colleagues have completed qualifications. At ND Care & Support, we find value in promoting education from within the company, supporting staff through many qualifications.

“Over the years, we have put over 100 of our staff on apprenticeships and not just in Health and Social Care. They have studied Administration, Advice and Guidance, and Leadership and Management. Apprenticeships are great for our staff as they learn the knowledge that is needed day in and out in their role.

“We have tried to look across the board at what we can do. For example, with the admin side of the business, I couldn’t teach my staff what they have learned through their qualifications. For us, it’s about creating those career pathways that people don’t even know exist.

“When this branch opened, it started with our regional manager, a laptop and a mobile phone. Now we are a big branch with over 150 carers. Educ8 Training have helped us along the way. Even though we are a health and social care provider, it’s amazing to see us branch off through other qualifications and feel the benefits throughout the business.”

Take your next steps

Educ8 Training offer fully funded apprenticeships across a range of areas. Find out more about apprenticeships at www.educ8training.co.uk, or call 01443 749 000.

Our specialist recruitment team can help you to plan your next steps and reach your potential. Let’s care for your career, so you can care for our Service Users.

Get in touch today and speak to our specialist recruitment team or view our most recent vacancies.