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Apprenticeship pushed career growth through global pandemic

3 February 2023

There’s no age limit to learning. 

Residential family and children apprentice, Albert Amoah, says his apprenticeship was crucial in enabling a career change in his 50s. 

Not even studying through a global pandemic could hold Albert back from succeeding. Read about his apprenticeship story:  

What apprenticeship did you study?   

Albert: I studied the Level 4 Children, Young People and Families Practitioner Apprenticeship at Chichester College alongside working Orchard House, which is a children’s home based in West Sussex. 

What does that involve? (For example, can you tell us what an average day as an apprentice looks like)?   

Albert: My apprenticeship involved 80% on the job hours which included the care of the children from newborn babies to young people up to 18-years-old whilst following strict policies, safeguarding and medication distribution. 

The other 20% of my apprenticeship was mainly online study sessions with my lecturers due to Covid-19 restrictions and therefore we could not attend many in person lessons. 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?   

Albert: To be honest, I had worked as a fully qualified engineer in Manchester for most of my life but during the credit crunch, I was made redundant and needed to consider my options. 

A friend of mine down south recommended a role at West Sussex but with no experience or qualifications in childcare, I thought that I had no chance. 

After giving it a go, I fell in love with the industry quite quickly so much so that I did not want to go back to engineering and in order to develop at Orchard House they suggested I took on the apprenticeship. 

Fortunately, West Sussex County Council had so many current apprentices with Chichester College that I was recommended the right one and I have not looked back since. 

How did your apprenticeship help you to get to where you are now? Did you feel well-equipped for your next steps and why?   

Albert: My apprenticeship has extended my knowledge hugely in my job field and taught me to look at my job in different scenarios, really allowing me to think outside of the box. 

Being a new industry, I did worry that I would struggle learning so much but my apprenticeship and virtual support from Chichester College allowed me to learn so many complex policies, safeguarding and protocol. 

What was the best thing about your apprenticeship?   

Albert: To be honest, the best part of my apprenticeship is how much it has enlightened me about other career paths and how it has allowed me to learn in a simplistic way for such complex subjects. 
Would you recommend choosing an apprenticeship? If so, why?   

Albert: Yes, I would recommend because the support of the staff was incredible no matter how tricky the questions or modules are they are always on hand. 

Also, I cannot express enough on the fantastic virtual support the lecturers provided during such a hard time with the pandemic. 

What advice would you give to future apprentices?   

DO NOT QUIT! Even if you find it difficult – put in that extra bit of effort, I promise you will make it and then once you complete your apprenticeship you can go on to great things. 

To find out more on how to become an apprentice visit: Become an Apprentice | Chichester College

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