14 March 2016
To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week, we will be introducing you to the apprentices who keep London Youth moving. First up is Kelain James, our Woodrow Apprentice!
Kelain initially heard about our apprenticeship at Woodrow High House during his time as a participant on Talent Match Cornwall, one of the other employability models funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Participants on Talent Match Cornwall were invited to visit Woodrow last autumn as part of a special ‘Careers in London’ insight trip, organised through our programme Talent Match London.
What attracted you to the Apprenticeship at Woodrow High House?
I love working with young people, and this apprenticeship gives me the opportunity to do just that. While in Cornwall I did a lot of work with youth groups including supporting those through Carefree, an organisation which support young people in and leaving care. Having gone through the care system myself I was really attracted to the prospect of giving back and helping other young people. Then, as soon as I heard about the apprenticeship at Woodrow, I asked for an application form and completed it the very same day!
Has your apprenticeship been everything you thought it would be?
Moving away from Cornwall to come to live and work in Woodrow has been more difficult than I thought it would be. Not having my old support system of family and friends is hard, but I love my job.
What’s a typical day like for you at Woodrow?
I usually get up before 8am to be ready for morning staff meetings at 8:45am. Most of my day is spent with school or youth groups, doing activities with them and showing them around the premises. I clock off before 5:30pm and have dinner with the rest of the team. All the apprentices and instructors live in a cottage onsite, so we usually hang out and play games after we all finish work.
Also as part of my apprenticeship I’m doing an NVQ2 in Activity Leadership. Most of the work I do at Woodrow is part of my NVQ2 which means I don’t have to go to a college. My NVQ2 is completely vocational which works well with me.
Would you encourage others to apply for an apprenticeship?
Definitely! A year ago when I first heard about apprenticeships, I was not at all that interested. I didn’t see the point or benefit, but after speaking to Tom (Woodrow Senior Instructor) and actually visiting Woodrow, I changed my mind. I began to see that apprenticeships were no different to actual jobs. A lot of young people’s thoughts on apprenticeships are misguided and misinformed. If more young people were given the opportunity to speak to employers or even do an apprenticeship for a day, they would see apprenticeships the way I do now.