Traineeships – Interview with one of our graduates
The Thames Reach Traineeship Scheme is now open for applications – we interviewed Ross, who graduated from the programme in April 2019 and is now Senior Practitioner in the Rapid Response Team
The Thames Reach traineeship programme provides career pathways into the homeless sector. It offers participants the opportunity to gain the skills and experience needed to work for Thames Reach and within the broader sector. The traineeship programme actively encourages those with a previous history of homelessness to apply, as well as people with little or no experience of the homeless sector. Passion, commitment and empathy towards homeless people along with good administration skills are required to succeed. The programme has seen students and tutors alike incredibly pleased with the experience and future prospects.
Ross Lambert is one of the graduates, who got a job as Assistant Support Worker at Croydon Reach after undertaking his first placement, and 10 months later is now Senior Practitioner for the Rapid Response Team. We spoke to him when he graduated in April 2019.
What’s your background and what attracted you to the programme?
I actually had a very different career before starting the traineeship; I was a glass designer for ten years, and although I really enjoyed it, I wanted to do something that helped people. After a short career break, I thought about how I might be able to do this and did some research. Spending some time travelling confirmed that I wanted to do a job that made a difference in the community. I knew little about what support workers did but knew that it was a step in the right direction for me.
What did you do during your time on the traineeship?
The work we did while training was really close to what we’d be doing as Assistant Support Workers once we finish, so it was good to learn first-hand from the start. I shadowed the Croydon Reach outreach team and followed their work with other agencies.
What did you enjoy the most?
The fact that I can see tangible results from my day-to-day work, and that’s something I’ll continue to enjoy as I settle in my new role and progress throughout my career.
Who have you worked with so far?
I had no experience working with vulnerable people before now but working with service users has been a real highlight, it truly feels like a two-way street, we’re inspiring each other and working collaboratively.
What are your plans for the future?
I got the job at Croydon Reach the same day as my second placement was due to start, so I’m still very new and enjoying learning everything I can about the role. I’m happy to have the experience and use the skills I learned in the traineeship for real-life situations.