We caught up with Peter Davies, a higher apprentice at Families First North East (FFNE).
Peter began working at Families First as a support worker, and soon started to progress in his career as his passion for the business grew. During the COVID pandemic, Peter started picking up more managerial and strategic projects and wanted to complete a qualification and up-skill alongside his new role.
Peter said: “I loved being hands-on in my role at Families First, however I was ready for a challenge and to progress into something a little bit different. I knew I could do the job; I just wanted a qualification to prove it and to open more doors for me. I am hoping to open a children’s home in the future, and this apprenticeship has given me the skills and knowledge I need to do that.”
Founded in 1988, Families First North East began as a toy library and meeting space for those with additional needs, disabilities and autism. After growing rapidly, FFNE now offer a Special Needs Afterschool Club, Adults Residential Home, Children’s Short Break centre, a hydrotherapy pool, holiday programmes and community support for over 450 individuals per year in the local area.
Peter continues to say: “At FFNE, we host hundreds of 1-1 sessions per week, it’s a rewarding feeling to be a part of something that helps so many families. That was one of the deciding factors in completing my apprenticeship, I was ready to grow even further within the business and was so happy that FFNE were able to support me through the programme.
“It has been a positive experience to complete an apprenticeship whilst at FFNE, and we are now encouraging other staff to up-skill and train at Northern Skills within their roles here. I am now Deputy Chief Executive at FFNE and focus the majority of my time on strategic thinking and business growth. I am looking forward to continuing my development of both the organisation and my personal skills whilst at FFNE.
“Kerry, my tutor at Northern Skills has been absolutely brilliant. I have done a lot of training in the past and nothing has been as well organised as this programme, it meant I could still work as much as possible alongside gaining a qualification. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, it’s a great way to up-skill with your employer!”Apprenticeships are not only for new employees, but they are also a great way to up-skill and re-train current members of staff to help their professional development.