Salford mum flies the flag for apprenticeships

13 February, 2015

A mum-of-two who embarked on an apprenticeship later in life is urging others in her situation to take the plunge.

Karen Hart, 33, is now half way through her two year apprenticeship with employment support charity The Broughton Trust and says it has changed her life.

Karen had been out of full time work for 13 years while caring for her mother and bringing up her two children, before she enrolled on an apprenticeship in Customer Services as part of The Broughton Trust's Irwell Valley Sustainable Communities project.

As part of the apprenticeship she has worked at The Broughton Trust, organic shop 78 steps and will spend the next year working with Salix Homes.

Karen, from East Salford, said: "When I first started people used to say to me ‘how can you do an apprenticeship at your age', but it doesn't matter how old you are, anyone can do an apprenticeship - you just have to want to do it.

"It was very daunting coming back to full time work after 13 years, but I'm so glad I did it. My children had reached an age where I could go back to work, so I knew I had to take that step and it's changed my life completely. I enjoy working so much, I don't know how I ever stayed at home.

As part of her role, Karen works on the reception desk at Salix Homes' offices on Hankinson Way and Peel Cross Road, answering phones and dealing with customer queries.

She has already completed qualifications in Maths and English Level 1 as well as a BTEC in Customer Service Level 2 and Employment, Responsibilities and Rights Level 2.

Karen added: "I've learnt so many new skills and I'm really growing in confidence. Before I started I hadn't even been on a computer properly, but you get all the training that you need and I've now got skills and qualifications that will help me in all areas of my life.

National Apprenticeship Week takes place next month from March 9 -13 and Karen is urging others to consider an apprenticeship.

She added: "If anyone is even thinking about an apprenticeship I would tell them to just go for it. It's changed my life and my children's life for the better and if I can do it then anyone can."

Salix Homes has so far recruited more than 100 apprentices through its successful Path 2 Work scheme.

Sue Sutton, our director of customer and neighbourhood services, said: "Salix Homes is committed to creating local jobs for local people and we are very proud to work alongside our partner agencies to offer a range of apprenticeships and sustainable employment.

"Apprenticeships aren't just for school leavers anymore, they're for everyone. There are lots of people out there who have found themselves out of work later in life for many reasons, and an apprenticeship could be the key to getting their foot back on the career ladder."

Karen is an ambassador for the success of apprenticeships, she has learnt new skills and transformed her life and we are very proud to support her on that journey.

To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities at Salix Homes and other local opportunities please visit our jobs portal.