Sharon Staples from Rubery finished her Level 5 Apprenticeship in Health & Social Care with South & City College in the spring of 2019.
She started her apprenticeship in 2017, not long after starting a new role as Deputy Manager of New Roots Allotment project within Birmingham City Council. The project offers gardening and growing vegetables as therapy and wellbeing to those with learning or physical disabilities.
2020 sees Sharon celebrate 30 years of working within the care sector for the City Council and it had been just over a decade since Sharon had last studied and although she admits it was difficult to begin with as a mature student; a new job to get to grips with, plus getting back into learning. Once she had completed the first assignments with the support of her college assessor, a routine quickly materialised.
“I would not have got through without the great support of my assessor.” Sharon explains. “She visited me at work every month, and these reviews were so important to keep me on course, on time and to support with resource finding. You’re never too old to learn, it might be difficult to begin with; however you soon get into the flow.”
When asked how the apprenticeship has helped with her current role, she said that it has refreshed her knowledge, so she is now more up-to-date. She has also learned additional managerial and leadership skills, however she was keen to add that the apprenticeship has really boosted her self-confidence.
Sharon was also keen to recommend South & City College to everyone. “The facilities are really good. Not only the teaching, support, printing and library, but also the options available for lunch.” She said, licking her lips at the memory.
As her learning was based at South & City’s Longbridge campus, she was able to take advantage of eating at Karibunis. Karibunis is a fully working training restaurant staffed entirely by hospitality and catering students.
She added some advice to any potential or current students, “If ever I have any decisions to make, I go with my heart. If you reach a crossroad, you need to be happy in life. For me, a good test of enjoying your job, is whether you would still do it if you won the lottery. This job I definitely would. Qualifications help with this, as they are a recognition of your ability and skills, which leads to greater confidence and happiness.”
Inspired to work in the health and care sector? South & City have a range of courses and apprenticeships available at all levels. Visit www.sccb.ac.uk/courses/health-care for more information.