Ethan’s Story

Young mixed race man smiles to cameraI came to CXK for help in September 2018 when I was turned away from my local college for not having the right English qualifications to get onto the childcare course I was hoping to do. I’d also recently applied for some childcare apprenticeships but not been successful. I didn’t have the confidence or experience to do as well at the interview as I’d hoped. CXK told me about a course they run called the Elevate Programme which was a 12 week course where I could not only study English Functional Skills but also have a chance to do some work experience and improve my employability qualifications through a Level 1 certificate in Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development. I decided this would be a good option for me so I applied to do the course; I got a place to start the next week.

“My tutors helped me achieve good results”

On the first day of the course I recognised a couple of others who I met at school and were in a similar situation to me. I quickly made friends with lots of people on the course who came from different places and were wanting to do different careers to me. Most of them were doing English and Maths as well as the Employability qualification. Getting to know these people has really helped me increase my confidence. Working in the small groups of the Elevate course and having lots of one to one support from my tutors also helped me achieve good results in my qualifications.

It wasn’t long before we started talking about what we wanted to do for our work experience. I was 100% sure that I wanted to get some experience in childcare. So my tutor suggested another nursery which had accepted young people on placements before. I asked about whether we could ask ‘Cre8tive Play’ in Ashford because this is the place where I had applied for an apprenticeship last year; I knew it was the kind of place I’d like to work. My tutor called them to ask if they could offer me a work experience placement for a week in October and they said yes. They recognised me from my interview and said they would be happy to have me on work experience.

“I knew it was the kind of experience which was going to help me”

I went in for a meeting with the Nursery Office Manager who showed me around the nursery. She also talked to me about what it would be like to do work experience there. This made me really excited to do my placement and I asked if I could work longer hours. I wanted to get more experience oand understand the way things work at each stage of the nursery day.

The week of work experience at Cre8tive Play was really enjoyable;  I was able to impress them during my time there. I listened to everything they taught me and got to think up my own activities for the children. Those activities linked to what they were learning that day. I bonded well with the children and apparently they were asking when I would be back with them! The staff in each room gave me good feedback and I got a good reference too. I felt confident during my placement and I knew it was the kind of experience that would help me.

“I’m excited for what the future holds”

Towards the end of the week I enquired about apprenticeship opportunities but was told there were no vacancies. However the next week I received an email saying they had a vacancy for an apprentice to start in January. They wanted to offer me the position based on how well I had done during my work experience placement. I was so pleased! When I got to Elevate that day I couldn’t wait to tell my tutor the good news. She said it made her day just like it had made mine and put me in such a good mood when I read the email. I replied saying I would like to take up the offer. Then it was a case of filling in the forms and getting my DBS sorted.

I am due to start in January 2019 and by then I should have my qualifications from Elevate too. Long term I plan to give my best in my apprenticeship and hopefully be taken on full time once I’ve completed it. Elevate, and especially my work experience, has really given me the confidence and experience as well as practical opportunities which have enabled me to be successful in gaining my apprenticeship. I’m excited for what the future holds.

At CXK we’re proud to provide training courses, development programmes and emotional support, advice and guidance which help young people to develop the skills and confidence to take their next steps in life.

Whether you’re looking for careers advice, want to develop your confidence, are looking to improve your Maths and English skills, or aren’t in education or employment and unsure what to do next; our services can provide you with the essential skills and confidence you need to ensure you’re in the best position to move forwards. For further details on the services we offer, visit our Services page.

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