Wednesday 14 October 2015

My Emmaus apprenticeship begins

Jack in shop

Going through school I never had any idea at what I wanted to do once I’d left. It wasn’t until my first year of A-levels that I started to take an interest in social care. I did sociology and I developed a real passion for it and started thinking about possible career paths in social care. But I wasn’t particularly academic and as everyone around me looked towards Uni I realised that it didn’t really appeal to me or to the way that I learned. I was good at working in lessons but I wasn’t good at sitting down and doing exams so apprenticeships seemed like they were the best thing for me to do.

It took me a while to find one that was suited to me but eventually I saw that a charity called Emmaus was looking for an apprentice to help them in their office. I jumped at the opportunity as it sounded like the perfect apprenticeship for me. So I went for an interview and from the moment that I stepped in to the building I felt welcome. Everybody was really nice to me and a few of the companions even wished me good luck for my interview which boosted my confidence a lot. The interview went well and I got a call the same day to say that Emmaus wanted me as their first apprentice.

For the first two weeks I had an induction which let me to see and experience all the different areas and roles that keep Emmaus running. It was a crazy two weeks, I was everywhere from being out on the vans collecting donations, to helping customers at the shop and down at the market. It gave me a really good sense of how everything worked here and it also gave me a good opportunity to pick up some experience in a wide variety of things from customer service to administration.

My apprenticeship is quite different compared to others in the administration and customer service industry because I’m getting a lot out of this job in terms of experience but I also feel like I get to give a lot back. I get to arrange pickups of donations that people have kindly given to Emmaus from all across Leeds. I also get to help out with the welfare fund. This gives things such as furniture to people in need of them.

One of the biggest things that makes my apprenticeship different is the companions (formerly homeless people who live and work at Emmaus Leeds) that I get to work with.  It’s really inspirational to see the positive effect that Emmaus has on the companions by giving them the skills and experience they need to start a new chapter in their lives.

I’ve settled in to Emmaus now and I’m really excited to grow with a charity that makes such a positive change to a lot of people’s lives.

By Jack Oseman

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