Over the past two years, Saira has combined studying with a career as a Home Care Assistant as well as taking care of her three children at home.
Having now achieved her end point assessment, we caught up with Saira to find out more about her experience doing a Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship.
Stepping back into studies
Saira has worked at Agincare’s Woking home care branch for the past 7 years. In 2019, having spent time considering a means of progressing in her career, Saira approached her manager about doing a Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship.
“It was good because it was flexible. I have three kids so I can’t go to a college and study, especially during Covid. So I was able to study whilst at work. My Teaching and Learning Coach was always available to do phone calls and text when I needed extra help.”
Saira has three daughters aged 5, 10 and 14. As schools closed during the pandemic, the flexibility that the apprenticeship offered Saira meant she could continue her studies.
Lead Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship
Having chosen a course, Saira’s manager, Bev, put her in touch with training provider, Training Now.
Training Now is a nationwide training company specialising in social care, education and business apprenticeships. Although a separate business, it works closely with Agincare and all apprenticeships are provided by Agincare Group Ltd.
Apprenticeships usually last between 15 and 18 months, depending on contracted work hours. However, for Saira, the coronavirus pandemic would see her course go from face-to-face to virtual learning.
Doing an apprenticeship during the pandemic
Describing the affect that the coronavirus pandemic had on her Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship, Saira explains:
“They were so understanding and flexible with the apprenticeships. When I had a busy week they would give me less work to do that week, and I would do more when I have time. They really worked with me.”
Saira is thankful for the support and tailored learning afforded to her by Training Now and its team. Rather than being confined to a strict learning plan, the training could be adapted to accommodate for unexpected changes in routine or work.
Saira also described how her teaching and learning coaches helped to motivate and push her towards completing the Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship.
“I had a team of two teaching and learning coaches, Daniela and Gemma were both excellent.”
With the support of Training Now, Saira has been able to complete her Level 3 qualification regardless of the challenges faced during the pandemic.
The different methods of learning available, be it in branch, zoom, or phone meetings meant that Saira did not miss out on her education and has benefitted greatly from her apprenticeship.
What’s next for Saira?
Already Saira has seen the benefits of her studies. In June, four months before completing her Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship, Saira was promoted from Home Care Assistant to Care Coordinator. Woking branch manager, Bev White, said:
“Saira has benefitted greatly from the training she has completed, her confidence has grown and she has now successfully been promoted to care coordinator and is a valued member of the office team.”
That decision in 2019 to return to studies has proven to be rewarding, helped by the flexibility and support offered by Training Now. It has already seen Saira progress her career and feel confident in her new role. She added:
“The apprenticeship really helps. I remember things I learnt, like data protection, every time I’m at work.”
What’s more, Saira is considering another course and progressing further in her career.
“I have an appointment with Training Now for careers advice next week. I want to keep studying and progress. I’m thinking of doing level 4, then level 5.”
Training Now encourages all apprentices to book a session with a careers advisor. Whether they are looking to create a CV, or need advice on avenues of career progression, the careers advice service continues to support apprentices even after their course has ended.
When asked if she would consider continuing her education, Saira added:
“If I was to do any further training, I would definitely do it through Training Now.”
Entering an apprenticeship programme is a great way to earn while you learn and means you can put your skills, knowledge and experience into practice straightaway.
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