Everything you wanted to know about becoming an Apprentice with Oaklea

Profile: Oaklea, 15th Nov, 2021

The Oaklea Apprentice Academy is now into it's second year.... You could join us - it's a chance for you to earn AND learn!

‘Here at Oaklea we are looking to expand our Apprentice Academy and are looking to recruit new Apprentice Support Workers to join us in South Lakes and Furness” Helen Shaw, HR Manager, Oaklea

With a little help with our friends from Kendal College…

We do this in conjunction with Kendal College - here’s Megan Hodgson, Facilitator for Social Care Apprenticeships at Kendal College -she’s on hand to make sure everything goes smoothly for you…

So what is it like being an Oaklea Apprentice in social care - well have a gander at this FAQ

We managed to catch up with our 2 successful Apprentice graduates - Emily & Felix - they were so busy we had to persuade them to do a FAQ style response we slipped under the classroom door!

Summarise your role in 3 words:

Both Felix & Emily: Welcoming, Challenging (in a positive way!), and Rewarding

What is the favourite part of your role?

Emily: I really enjoy 1:1 working with people I support because you can take them on trips and develop more of a relationship with them. I am able to build up trust, and can see them for how they really are.

Where have your different work placements been?

Felix: These have been a care home for elderly people with learning disabilities, supported living for young adults with learning disabilities, and I have spent a short time working with children with learning disabilities.

Emily: I have also been able to do some community work, which involves supporting people in their own homes and helping with home life, finances and attending appointments.

Which area of knowledge have you enjoyed exploring the most?

Emily: Learning more about Autism was really interesting to look at, and helped me understand the people I support more, and also helps build better relationships as you know more about how to support and help them.

Support always on hand when needed….

What skill have you developed the most since starting your apprenticeship?

Felix: I have gained a lot more overall confidence in myself, which has helped in all areas of my apprenticeship.

Emily: I have also developed confidence, but I have also learnt how to be more compassionate to others. This has helped when working with people with learning disabilities, as compassion has come more natural to me.

What do you think it takes to be a successful Oaklea Lifestyle Coordinator (Support Worker)?

Emily: I think they should be open minded, as each day at work is different.

Felix: You have got to be able to build resilience – which not everyone has at first, and you will get the support from each placement to help with this.

Stand out in your future career!

And lets face it -Being at College is also great…

Here’s Megan again - she knows that attending Kendal College is not just about the learning - it’s about new friendships, a wider community and so forth:

This sounds great - but I need more detail - luckily we have our HR supremo on hand…

“Pay rates for Apprentices start at £6.00 per hour and we can offer a full time contract with 20% off the job for training. You will spend time studying a level 3 Health and Social Care diploma with Kendal College and will also have on the job training working on a 2 year rotational basis gaining experience working in an Adult Care Home, Supported Living projects and working with Children and Young People.

As part of your career path into Health and Social Care Oaklea we will work with you through your 2 year study programme and upon successful completion of your qualification will then offer you a full or part time permanent contract with us. Your journey with Oaklea will offer you career development opportunities, training and competitive rates of pay because we value our employees and strive to retain our talented workforce. Helen Shaw, Oaklea HR Manager

Worth looking into say Emily & Felix….

So nothing to stop you - a career path that really makes a difference to people’s lives!

For an informal chat please call Helen Shaw, HR Manager on 01539 735025 alternatively you can express interest by contacting a member of the HR Team at

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