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BUILD THE FUTURE – Chris taps into Social Work expertise with Degree Apprenticeship


“In my family I’ll be the first person to graduate. It will give me an enormous sense of pride and I’m going to use that to be a role model to my children.”

Chris Taylor, 35 from Walsall, is tapping into a new career by studying for a Degree Apprenticeship in Social Work at the University of Wolverhampton, with his studies being funded by his employer, Walsall Council, through the Apprenticeship Levy.

Chris currently works in Adult Social Care at the council and is in his third and final year of the Apprenticeship, due to qualify in August this year.

He left school with no formal qualifications and trained and worked as a plumber, following his dad’s advice to get a trade behind him. Even though he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, he knew he didn’t want to work in a job which involved manual labour.

He said: “I decided to apply for a job at my local council as an administrator and luckily for me they gave me the opportunity.  I worked in a variety of different roles, typing meeting notes and doing some data inputting.  I knew I didn’t really want a desk job so I volunteered to work in Children’s Services to boost my experience, eventually joining the Family Support Team where I realised I wanted a career in Social Work.”

Chris had been in the care system when he was a child and, whilst he had never thought he could be capable of having a career in Social Work, the experience he gained made him realise that he had the potential to work in the field.

“I was never very academic, but when the opportunity to do the Degree Apprenticeship came up, I knew I wanted to further my education.  My employer has offered me lots of opportunities to gain qualifications and their support has been invaluable.  Even though I was nervous about going back to studying, there is lots of support from my employer and from the University.

“Qualifying as a Social Worker will bring me a sense of pride, being the first member of our family to go to university and get a degree.  I want my kids to have a good role model.  My advice to anyone considering doing a Degree Apprenticeship later in life is believe in yourself, believe in education and it will help you to change your life.”

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