Neil spent over 20 years in the Army before going into the care sector. “I was only going to spend a few months in care until I figured out what I wanted to do. But I soon realised I loved it.” He was encouraged to enrol for an apprenticeship by a tutor at Paragon Skills, “So I thought I’d give it a go – and I really enjoyed it.”
Not everything was plain sailing, however. “The biggest challenge was the functional skills tests – the maths and English. But my Personal Tutor was brilliant. There was no such thing as a stupid question. She explained things in a nice, sensible, easy-to-understand way. She was very approachable and very knowledgeable and she took account of the fact that I may not have had a lot of experience in social care but I did of the military. So she made examples relevant to that experience.”
Neil says his apprenticeship has made him more confident and comfortable in his role and given him “a lot more employability within the company”.
He is now planning to do the next level apprenticeship – a level 3 in care and management. “Once I complete the next course, I can do more senior roles. All in all, it’s been a very positive experience”.