Meet Trainee Child and Youth Care Worker, Ryan who made the career change from landscaper to a role in child and youth care. - Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity
Posted: May 27, 2024

As a dad of two small children, Ryan wanted a new job that fitted around his family lifestyle, which also had the potential to be a long-term career. Although Ryan enjoyed landscaping, it was labour-intensive and involved working outdoors in harsh winters. At the age of 37, after eight years as a landscaper, Ryan knew now was his time for a career change.

Changing careers at 37 can be an overwhelming thought, however, Ryan heard about Kibble’s Career Start in Child and Youth Care and immediately thought: ‘That’s what I am looking for!’

About Career Start

Career Start prioritises life experience and enthusiasm in its job applications; rather than formal qualifications. Ryan was a parent and volunteered as a football coach – he was confident he had transferable skills to relate to young people and be a positive influence. Ryan decided he was suitable to apply to Career Start and was overjoyed to hear his application was successful.

Now a Trainee Child and Youth Care Worker, Ryan gives us an insight into the most enjoyable part of the experience so far: “I enjoy getting to know young people, finding out their likes and dislikes and creating friendships with them.”

“The training has been helpful too, teaching us about individual thinking and the reasoning behind certain behaviours.”

“Since joining Career Start, I believe I am a better person and better parent.”

What Does Each Working Day Involve?

The working week of a Trainee initially involves six-months of training with Kibble’s own Learning and Development team. Whereas the latter half of the year includes practical experience alongside studying: trainees spend three-days in a children’s residential house with a mentor, one day in the classroom and another independent study day at home. Ryan describes his working week:

“I spend Monday in the classroom working towards an HNC qualification, another day studying at home and also complete three shifts per week.”

“My day can depend on the shift. I prefer backshift and spending time with kids after-school. I encourage young people to find a fun activity to try – some pick to go shopping, go-karting or playing goals outside.”

“The work placement means the training isn’t hypothetical and instead, we’re living what the academic side is trying to tell us. I find it valuable being able to watch, observe and get involved with how experienced Child and Youth Care Workers bond with young people and create such fun, positive memories for those in our care.”

“My mentor, Tracey is a massive inspiration to me and I relate to her as she understands the commitment of studying for a qualification.”

About the Academic Side of Career Start

Through Career Start, Trainees achieve an HNC qualification with full support from Kibble’s own instructors. Although many may be nervous about studying, Ryan reassures potential applicants: “Immediately I was nervous about the thought of studying, however, each trainee receives one-to-one support and there is always a mentor on-hand to text, email and talk to. All the trainees have a Whatsapp group to support one another too.”

“When I first applied I was interested in the practical skills involved as knew this would be my strength, however, the academic part has given me great understanding of the role.”

Who Is Suitable to Apply to Kibble’s Career Start Training Programme?

You may be wondering if you can join Ryan as a Trainee Child and Youth Care Worker and if you have the drive and enthusiasm to start a new career. In Ryan’s opinion the following traits are the best characteristics potential applicants can possess:

“1. You must value consistency and be aware of the commitment involved.”

“2. Be yourself every day as young people are drawn to reliable and trusting adults who are genuine. You can’t teach personality and friendliness so if you’re naturally fun and enjoy spending time with young people, you’ll excel.”

“3. Also, you have to be resilient. Remember, it’s a learning process. There are absolutely brilliant days but each shift, actually, each hour, is different and you’ll keep experiencing new things, which keeps it interesting. My advice would be to start each shift as a brand-new day.”

Ryan began Career Start in Child and Youth Care Worker in July 2023 and is expecting to qualify this summer.

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