Mason Steel is currently completing a Modern Apprenticeship with Cornerstone. He has been working in Cornerstone for just over two years, beginning with relief work in the Springhill service in Dundee. 

After he left school Mason wasn’t sure what he wanted to do but caring roles had always called to him. “I knew I had a kind heart and I wanted to make a difference.”  

He started his journey in care straight after high school and decided to do the Modern Apprenticeship last year. “I just knew I had to complete the SVQ one day and wanted to gain the experience and knowledge from it.” 

Mason does the Modern Apprenticeship alongside his full-time support work. “Doing the Modern Apprenticeship has let me expand on my skills and knowledge. It’s definitely helped my practice – knowing all the laws and policies that you need to implement in your practice.”  

Currently Mason supports three people in housing support out of a staff team of five and the Modern Apprenticeship has given him more confidence in his role.  

“I’ve learned loads from doing the SVQ – I can support the people we support better, and the Modern Apprenticeship has given me a better understanding of what health and social care really is. I’m already implementing most of the stuff I’ve learned, it does make me feel more confident.” 

“My favourite part of the Modern Apprenticeship is seeing the people we support being so happy and excited about stuff we’ve planned to do with them.”  

Mason explained that before COVID the people he supports were going out five times a week but COVID had stopped activities for a while. Slowly things have been getting back to normal, however, and a while ago some of the people Mason supports were supported to make a trip to the Isle of Arran on the west coast of Scotland. 

Everyone doing the Modern Apprenticeship is supported by a mentor, Mason’s mentor Pam, checks in with him fortnightly about how he is doing and to see if he needs any help. “My modern apprenticeship mentor/assessor, Pam – I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her, she has been great. She has been very supportive.” 

The Modern Apprenticeship did surprise Mason at first – “It goes into a lot of detail. Linking in the policies and legislation was a bit surprising because there are so many, but at the end of the day expanding on your knowledge makes you a better [support] worker.” 

Mason is due to finish his Modern Apprenticeship by the end of February, “I’m excited to be almost done. It’s been a lot of work.”  

“The Modern Apprenticeship is an SVQ level three so we also did core skills Maths and English. They were easy enough to get, similar to exams in school but not as long.” Mason explained the exams were a bit more relaxed than exams at school, “I lost no sleep over them!”  

Mason would encourage anyone considering doing a Modern Apprenticeship to try it. “If you are already in the health and care sector or wanting to get into it you should definitely go for it!” 

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