Meet Ryan, who went from being a Personal Trainer to an Apprentice Care Assistant
As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2020, we have interviewed several of our fantastic apprentices to find out why they decided to join us and how they have found the experience.
Meet Ryan Clark, who joined our apprenticeship programme as a Care Assistant and is enjoying building relationships with our residents and making lasting memories.
What were you doing before the apprenticeship?
I was a personal trainer at the gym.
What attracted you to a career in social care?
I didn't ever imagine myself working in social care, and it wasn't something I knew much about. But my grandmother got older, and her health declined. I learnt a lot more about care work and realised it was something I was really suited to.
Why did you choose to go down the apprenticeship route?
An apprenticeship is a really good way of starting work in an area that you don't know much about and don't have qualification for. You're able to learn and study whilst working, which I really like.
What is the best thing about the apprenticeship?
I'm really enjoying the apprenticeship, and I think the best thing about it is that I get to learn so much from the older generation. They have such interesting stories to tell, and some of the couples have been together for 70 years, so there's a lot to learn from them.
The apprenticeship has really helped me progress personally and I've gained so much confidence. I was really shy when I first started, and now no one can believe the change in my confidence.
Can you tell us about the residents you work with?
I love all of the residents to bits. Some of them are real characters, and others have personalities just like me, so we get on really well.
Do you have a favourite memory from your apprenticeship?
My favourite memories are the relationships that I've built with all of the older people.
What are the biggest challenges of your job?
I had no idea what a job in social care was really like. I thought it just involved chatting and making drinks, but having to support people with dementia can be quite challenging. Luckily, the apprenticeship has taught me how to work best with them.
Do you believe social care work in undervalued?
I think social care work is really undervalued. Before the apprenticeship, I thought it just involving chatting and making drinks. I don't think anyone understands what's involved in it, unless they work in social care themselves.
What would you say to someone who is considering an apprenticeship in social care?
I would 100% recommend others to try an apprenticeship in social care. Lots of people probably have misconceptions about what it's like, but they should just give it a go, and hopefully they'll realise there's a lot more to it than they thought.
What are your plans for when you finish the apprenticeship?
I definitely want to stay working in social care - it's great. Hopefully I'll stay at Northbourne, and train to become a team leader.
If you'd like to find out more about a career in care, please visit our careers website here.