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Emily Shephard

Student Support Assistant

I decided to choose an apprenticeship because I was not sure on whether I was ready for university, however I knew I was ready to work. I also wanted to do an apprenticeship as I still wanted to be in a learning environment and continue to learn new things, whilst getting to know the role I decided to do in my future whilst working and learning at the same time. I personally think this is the best way to start out anyone’s future as it gives you a chance to try out what you want to do whilst getting the qualification you need to accomplish this.

Personally, I think everyone should experience what it is like being an apprentice and the opportunities that come with it. It is a chance to fully get to know yourself and how you will work in the future. It also gives you a better understanding of whether you have made the right choice in career or not and whether you have taken the right journey for you and your future. If you are anything like me and have finished school, sixth form or college and still do not know what you want to do in your future or where you need to be at that stage in your life, this is when you need to think about what makes you happy and what makes you want to work harder. This is where I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship where I get to work in a school as I was not ready to leave the school I was at and being able to go back and do another year but as a staff member was the best outcome I could’ve hoped for.

My apprentice role is a Student Support Assistant. This means I am there for the students during lessons or 1-1 for if they need any help with subjects that they struggle in, or even there as a friendly face for them to feel comfortable and come to me with any problems, whether that is time out of the classroom or just support throughout lessons. I am also there for students that have medical problems where I will need to be with the child in case of an emergency. During exams or tests, I can also be used as a reader for those students that struggle with their reading or even those that struggle with their handwriting, I can be their to scribe.

Since starting my apprenticeship, I have learnt a large number of things. I have become a lot more independent and confident within myself and my role as an SSA. I have learnt different ways in which to deal with numerous situations and how to overcome them in the best way possible. Before starting this apprenticeship I wasn’t sure whether I had made the right choice in whether to work in a secondary school supporting students due to struggling in school myself, however learning throughout the apprenticeship and being able to relate to the students allows me to get a strong bond and relationship whilst getting to know them individually. Time keeping is also something I have learnt as I always need to be in at a certain time and have my coursework done for a specific date. This allows me to keep track of where I am and what I have to do to fulfil my future aspirations.

This apprenticeship has helped me in my career prospects as it has shown me that I have made the right choice of what I want to do in my future and how I am going to improve to keep this role as an SSA. It has also helped me understand what I need to do and where I need to be in this role and to achieve my qualifications which will also help me achieve getting a full time job as an SSA.