Tasmin joined Choice Care in October 2022 and is currently studying for her Level 3 qualifications while working at one of our services.
We asked Tasmin about her apprenticeship experience....
Why did you enrol on an apprenticeship at Choice Care?
I enrolled to gain more knowledge and understanding around care in general. I have worked in mental health homes since I began work, so learning about the background of care benefits my love for working with mental health and gives me a better understanding of the residents I work with. The course has different aspects of the role that I carry out and will help me to become more efficient with my job.
Can you tell us about your apprenticeship?
I applied for Level 2, however, Sarah (my manager) thought my knowledge base was worthy of Level 3. Sarah then managed to get me onto Level 3. This involves learning as a lead member of staff and about the duty of care and what it takes to be a lead carer. This apprenticeship isn’t just about the fundamentals of care, but how to care with commitment and compassion.
How have you found the experience?
The experience has been really good so far, I seem to be ahead which I never thought I’d say! It’s all a new experience and I recommend this to absolutely anyone especially if they would like to move up in their role. The apprenticeship is challenging - but in a good way. It tests your reflective practice and your knowledge as well as encouraging you to branch out into new learning.
How does your apprenticeship work on a day to day basis?
I always have time to do my work, even when it’s a busy day because on a busy day I’m putting my new knowledge into practice. I have the full support of my manager as well, which is really helpful - I could not have got this far in my apprenticeship without her showing me new things, offering positive criticism as well as pushing me to learn more about the management side of the job.
The support from my coach has been great too. They are so supportive through helpful comments and meetings each month to help stay on track with your work!
Do you think the apprenticeship is helping you on your career pathway?
Yes, definitely. There is a lot of learning which helps towards my role. You have to reflect on your own practice as well which really helps you focus on the good and bad parts which can be worked on. I have expressed my wish to go onto Level 5 and move up in the company - this apprenticeship and my manager are helping me to get there. However, it takes great dedication from myself also!
What are your aspirations for the future?
I'm eager to always push to the top! I don’t believe I have a specific aspiration for the future but just to keep going as far as I can. The apprenticeship makes you realise how much the management and senior team have to deal with continuously and the hard work they put in to get their staff providing the best quality of care. The learning from the apprenticeships/qualifications would have given them some of the skills to be able to do this.
Would you encourage other colleagues to become a Choice Care apprentice?
Of course, again I really cannot express how much this apprenticeship is helping me realise the lengths I can go to improve and it definitely provides so much help in getting used to the leadership side of things. It can be challenging. However, your job helps your apprenticeship and in turn your apprenticeship helps your job. Your practical work helps your theory and your theory helps your practical, so it really has changed the way I work.
To anyone considering doing the apprenticeship, don’t let yourself stop from doing it! Everyone has the capability to achieve, push yourself and you will be so surprised how far it gets you as a person as well as a Carer.