A lover of learning, Louise has completed a variety of qualifications, but her recent Level 3 apprenticeship with TSW Training has helped her to keep up with the latest developments in health and social care law.
She noticed the parallels between her course and her work very quickly as she put what she’d learned into practice.
Hello! Please would you introduce yourself?
I’m Louise Davies. I’ve been working in children’s homes for the last four years. I love it – it's a good job. Challenging at times but that’s part and parcel of the job.
I’m taking a Level 3 apprenticeship in Children and Young People Practice with TSW Training.
I started the QCF qualification a couple of years ago but moved companies, so it was delayed. When I moved to this company, I transferred it over and then Covid hit. So, it’s been the longest QCF ever!
I’m a mother of three children – my eldest is 22 - and I'm a full-time carer for my mother too.
Are you enjoying the apprenticeship?
I have enjoyed it and my Training Advisor Sian has been brilliant.
It’s not as much paperwork as I thought it would be – a lot of it is practical. Most of it comes naturally in my job anyway and being a mother to three children, that does flow into my work practice.
I’ve got three sons and I work with all boys!
Have you found the apprenticeship has improved how you do your job? Can you see parallels between the course and your day-to-day work?
It definitely coincides with your day-to-day work.
Sian came out last week to do a practical observation on me and she said, ‘you don’t realise that what you do naturally in your job is part of your QCF’.
Let’s talk about your Training Advisor, Sian...
Sian 100% goes the extra mile. When I’ve been having family problems, she’s emailed me to say ‘look, if you can’t do this today, don’t worry.’
She’s been fab - really supportive. We’ve had face-to-face contact, phone contact, Microsoft Teams calls. There was a problem with Teams the other day, so we had a Whatsapp call instead. She’s brilliant at the job.
Do you feel like part of a community when you’re learning? What’s that like?
The company I work for now has switched over to TSW Training since I’ve been working with Sian. When I joined, TSW Training had to come out and do a Health & Safety risk assessment and my manager Nolan was impressed with the way the business worked.
All the people in my workplace are only doing apprenticeships with TSW now.
How does your employer support you?
Nolan’s very supportive. He always says if I need any help, just to let him know. He’s brilliant.
What motivates you to learn?
I’ve always liked learning anyway; I think it’s important in life – especially when you’re in a job that deals with legislation.
The way society’s changing, I think it’s important to keep yourself up to date.
I’ve always done some type of learning – I was a nursery nurse when I was younger, then I did a BTEC Level 3, then I did my HNC. It's just nice to have that knowledge behind you – it makes you better at your job.
Do you think taking an apprenticeship has changed your life? In what way?
It does improve your work practice because it keeps you fresh. You’re learning new things every time you’re answering questions or when you’re working.
Sian was picking up what I was doing which coincided with the Social Services and Wellbeing Act. She said, ‘you don’t realise what you do to look after young people’s wellbeing.’
I look at it as progressing in my career – it does feel good to succeed at Level 3 and then preferably, go on to Level 4 and Level 5.
What advice would you give to people thinking of taking up an apprenticeship?
In health care, sometimes it does come naturally but obviously, there are laws and policies that you’ve got to follow. I think it’s important for people to go and do the training because it just gives them that base knowledge and understanding. Especially working with young people, because some of them have been through traumatic times. It’s understanding why they behave the way they do sometimes.
It gives you a lot more compassion and empathy too.
What are your career aspirations? Where will we see you in 10 years?
That’s a difficult one because I’ve had ups and downs over the years, thinking I want to do something different!
My manager’s keen for me to progress in this company, so hopefully in a few years, I can go from a Deputy into a Manager’s position.
A role model to young people
Louise’s manager, Nolan, was delighted when he found out that Louise had won our Learner of the Month award.
Here, he tells us more about what Louise contributes to the team and the difference she’s made to the lives of young people.
“Since Louise has worked at Ty Bevan, she’s always gone the extra mile by putting our young people first. Louise has done this during what has been a very busy time at work during the pandemic. Staying late and covering shifts at short notice, Louise has also picked up extra shifts when staff have been off with Covid-19 related illnesses or had to self-isolate as a close contact. By doing this, Louise ensures we’re able to safely deliver the high-quality childcare that we pride ourselves on.
I can trust Louise to deputise in my absence to attend meetings and accurately record back what was discussed.
I feel Louise cares hugely about her work and cares about assisting our young people in achieving positive outcomes even when there are barriers/threats in the way. One example was when a young person was finding it difficult to get a job - Louise assisted him with finding a role he would like to do, creating and tailoring a CV, and preparing him for an interview which ultimately secured employment.
Louise is an extremely valuable member of our team; she's flexible in her approach, a role model to our young people and her positive attitude has helped us all continue to stay motivated."