Elle McKelvie currently works as a support worker in Cornerstone’s Blackwood Court service in Dundee where she supports two people.

She started her Modern Apprenticeship in October/November 2021 and has just signed off her first unit. Elle enjoys the freedom of working at her own pace and getting things done bit by bit. “It works really well for me, you can see your target and where you actually are at and every time your progress goes up you are like - YES!”

Before working in social care Elle had been studying animal care in college and was working in Red Wing Horse Sanctuary in Forfar. She  decided she wanted to do something different so made the move into social care in February last year.  Caring roles have always called to Elle and as some of her family members worked in social care she thought it would be an easy transition. “I get to use a lot of the same skills as I did previously – empathy, patience, understanding and communication are all so important in both roles.”

Elle decided to do the Modern Apprenticeship shortly after joining Cornerstone.

“I was brand new to care and I thought it would be a good way of getting a better understanding and appreciation of what I’m doing on a daily basis.”

“I quite enjoy learning more and getting more information about the job and why we need to do things a certain way. Take medication for example - there is a set of important rules you have to follow and in the Modern Apprenticeship you get to understand why those rules are in place and all the background stuff. I enjoy that I can apply what I’m learning immediately to my job.”

“The Modern Apprenticeship helps me with my job day to day and really builds my confidence. In the beginning I was mostly following what other people were doing but now I have the knowledge to be confident in my own decisions. I can use my own initiative a lot more now.”

Elle explained that while she does the Modern Apprenticeship on her own there is plenty of support available. “Where I’m working other people have done the SVQ and are always willing to give me advice. There are also study days once a month which definitely help.”

The most rewarding part for Elle is being able to check and update her progress to see how far she has come.

“I love seeing that I’m making progress – I’m not even a year in and I feel I’m getting loads done, it’s a great feeling.”

When Elle first heard about the Modern Apprenticeship she thought it would be similar to college but was surprised by the flexibility offered. “I thought it would be quite heavy with lots of deadlines and lots of studying but it’s been quite enjoyable. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about my job and what I’m doing.”

Elle would encourage people who are considering doing the Modern Apprenticeship to apply. “Just go for it! It gives you a better understanding of what you do already!”

If you would like to read more stories like Elle's you can go here.