Bristol social care charity, Milestones Trust, has launched a new recruitment campaign.
The charity is marking National Apprenticeship Week, which began on March 4, by highlighting its health and social care apprenticeship opportunities.
Gemma Gitrow tells here how she started as an apprentice with Milestones in 2009, aged 17. She has now just been appointed acting home manager at Mulberry House, a residential home for people with learning disabilities and complex needs, and says care work is the most rewarding career she can imagine.
Since joining Milestones Trust, Gemma has helped people settle into new homes, supported individuals through crisis periods, seen residents develop independence and self-esteem and helped build their practical skills such as cooking or growing vegetables. She’s also helped people get back in touch with families and make new friends. Gemma has also completed her Diploma in Social Care Levels 2, 3 and 5 (lower degree level), all funded by the Trust.
She said: “I always wanted to work with people with learning disabilities and I wanted to learn in a practical, hands-on way so an apprenticeship was ideal for me and I left school at 17 to get started.
“Ten years later I have a degree level qualification, which I would never have thought possible, and I’ve done so much more than I expected – broadening my skills and experience to work with people with mental health needs as well as those with learning disabilities.”
Milestones Trust is also backing the government’s new Every Day Is Different campaign, which launched on 12 February, that aims to help fill the 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector.