A care worker with national children’s charity Kibble is urging others to consider a career in care, after he made the switch from his career as a gardener and never looked back.

Ryan McCay, age 37 from Lochwinnoch, is a trainee youth and care worker with Kibble through its pioneering career start programme, launched to help people with valuable life experience complete a career change and gain formal qualification while earning. The driven individuals can build an entirely new career in residential child care and become a positive role model to children and young people.

Career Start is a 12-month programme which provides invaluable on the job training and a living wage as individuals work towards a HNC in Social Services. It prioritises life experiences, enthusiasm and compassionate attitude over formal qualifications making it the ideal option for adults and young professionals looking to transition into a new career and make a difference to the lives of young people.

As a dad of two small children, Ryan wanted a new job that would fit around his family lifestyle, which also had the potential to be a long-term career. Although Ryan enjoyed landscaping, it was labour-intensive and involved working outdoors in harsh winters so after eight years, Ryan took the leap.

Changing careers at 37 can be an overwhelming thought, however, Kibble’s Career Start in Child and Youth Care provides all the training, mentorship and one-to-one support needed throughout the paid work experience and study to ease the transition to a new path. On completion of the 12-month programme and HNC qualification, all candidates are guaranteed an interview for full-time employment at Kibble.

At Kibble, child and youth care workers play a significant role in making a positive difference to the lives of trauma-experienced young people aged between 5 and 26. Care workers spend time forming genuine relationships with the young people and support them as they carry out their day-to-day activities such as attending school, taking part in hobbies and enjoying leisure time.

As a parent and volunteer football coach, Ryan was confident he had transferable skills to relate to young people and be a positive influence. He has now is his last month of the programme and never looked back.

Ryan said: “It’s been great getting to know the young people at Kibble, finding out their likes and dislikes and creating friendships with them to build positive memories for those in our care. I prefer backshift and spending time with them after school when I encourage them to find a fun activity to try – some pick shopping, go-karting or playing goals outside.

“The training has been helpful too, teaching us about individual thinking and the reasoning behind certain behaviours. The work placement means the training isn’t hypothetical and instead, we’re living what the academic side is trying to tell us.

“Since joining Career Start, I believe I am a better person and better parent.”

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of Kibble said: “Our Career Start training programme helps people who are looking for a career change enter into the child care sector with financial, training and educational support provided by Kibble along the way.

“It’s a rewarding career path and a privilege to provide support and guidance in a young person’s life to motivate them to look positively towards the future.
“We are committed to bringing the best carers into the industry which is why we recruit based on a set of values and invest significantly in the learning and development of our staff. By delivering specialised training, our workforce is highly competent and knowledgeable in how to deliver the right care, at the right time to young people who need it most.”

Through Career Start, trainees achieve an HNC qualification with full support from Kibble’s own instructors. For further information on the Career Start programme or to apply for the next cohort please visit www.kibble.org/work-with-us/career-start-in-child-and-youth-care.

Applications close on Monday 3rd June.

Headline image: Kibble Trainee Youth and Care Worker Ryan McCay
Photo Credit: Kibble Education & Care Centre

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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