07 March 2014

Friday 7 March 2014

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2014, we thought we'd ask one of our current apprentices more about their experience…

Featured Apprentice: Joshua Smith, Instructor at Woodrow High House

Why did you want this apprenticeship?

When I lived in London I was a member of one of the charity’s member youth clubs in East London – The Paradise Zone. As I got older I started volunteering my time to help run activities.  I really enjoyed it and initially decided to study Youth and Community Work at college and planned to go on for a degree at university.  In the end, after a lot of searching I decided to take a more practical route to training.  When I found this apprentice instructor scheme it seemed a good balance of the work I enjoyed with young people and the training I had hoped to gain. 

A day in the life of an apprentice instructor…

I have learnt so much already, from becoming a qualified archery instructor through to picking up skills in group management and setting and reviewing objectives.  I’ve also got my National Pool Lifeguard Qualification. I feel that my confidence has grown greatly as I am now comfortable leading groups on their sessions.

We run four sessions a day for each activity group and often an evening activity as well.  We start at 08:45h for a morning meeting where we discuss our plans for the day. I then set up any activity equipment I need for my first session and am ready to meet the group at 09:15h. I set the objective of each session with my group and ask them for examples of the things that they want to work on. The four sessions are done by 17:00h and the instructor team then meets to talk about how our days have gone, share challenges we may have faced and any feedback from the group.  If there’s an evening activity I’ll be back in from 19:30h to 21:00h normally to run a campfire or disco.  It’s a long day but is also very enjoyable because I get to work with different types of people all the time.  Because of this there are lots of different challenges to keep me on my toes.  I would definitely recommend the role to others who are looking to work with young people.

Ambition for the future

During my year at Woodrow I aim to find out about the kinds of groups that I enjoy working with the most and figure out how I can then try and get into a career where I can utilise my new and improved skills, be challenged and enjoy it at the same time.