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Struggling to thrive within the traditional education system and feeling disengaged, Callum Fennell, joined Bethany Residential Care Home as a Carer at just 16 years of age.

Since he began working at the Chepstow-based care home, Callum’s confidence and career prospects have soared.

“When I was in school I found it very hard with the discipline that was in place. I struggled with the teachers as they didn’t understand me and this impacted on my grades. I find the apprenticeship route much better for me.”

Now aged 18, Callum is a Care Assistant and is undertaking his Health & Social Care Level 2 qualification with Ƶ. In his role, he ensures all the residents are provided with the one-to-one care and support they need and assists them with any additional tasks they need help with.

I love making a difference to the lives of the people I support, making them happy, supporting them, reassuring them and giving them a voice to be heard. I find my job very rewarding and love to hear the residents calling my name and smiling when I come onto shift as they are happy to see me. I have real job satisfaction when the residents are happy – this reassures me I have made a difference to their lives that day.

Through work-based learning, Callum is earning while gaining essential practical experience on the job and is discovering a whole range of skills. He finally recognises his own capabilities and can see first-hand the positive impact his role has on those around him. Care work offers huge job satisfaction and Callum is providing vital care and support to some of the most vulnerable members of society.

The UK is an ageing population with an estimated 15 million individuals over the age of 60. As such, there is a demand for quality elderly care and with that lots of career opportunities. As well as learning a whole host of practical skills on the job, Callum’s apprenticeship qualification is helping him progress his career within the Care Sector, while receiving invaluable support along the way.

“I really feel I have developed as a person since starting my qualification. I have learnt new skills and I am more than happy to ask for help or advice when I need it. If I am struggling, I can speak to my assessor at Ƶ and she will support me and offer scenarios that I understand.  My employer has also given me the opportunity to grow within my role.  I work within a team environment and my peers always look out for me. They encourage me through each challenge I face and are there to support me.”

After a difficult start at school, Callum is now excited about his career prospects and feels his Health & Social Care Level 2 qualification is just the beginning for him. With his eyes firmly fixed on the future, Callum knows exactly where he is heading!

“The feedback that I have had from residents, family members, outside professionals, my team and the management team have all been very positive. This makes me feel so proud and excited for my future within the Care sector. My manager has already asked me to begin my Level 3 after I complete my Level 2. This has been a big boost to my confidence as I know she can see how I am progressing. My goal is to eventually become a Medicator. Now I am 18 I can start the required training, which will enable me to administer medication, lead a team, deal with emergencies and liaise with outside professionals. I am willing to work hard and I am confident that I will achieve this career goal. My employers trust in me has made me determined to progress to where I am now. If I had not been given this chance to work when I was 16, I don’t know where I would be today.