Former lifeguard aiming to make a splash in the care sector


A former lifeguard has used the pandemic to pursue a career in health and social care with the help of one of the UK’s leading training providers.

About Oliver

Oliver Wood, aged 23, is currently going through the End Point Assessment of his Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship Level 2 with Realise, after becoming a lifeguard when he left college.

Having already completed mental health awareness and first aid training, Oliver wanted to hone his skills to become a care worker and deliver the very best service on the frontline.

As well as receiving regular one-to-one support and small group webinars from sector experts, Oliver currently works at Dawn Rest Home in Dartington in Devon to get hands on experience in the industry.

Speaking as part of National Apprenticeship Week, Oliver said:

“Making the move from the swimming pool to the care sector is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

“It wasn’t until the pandemic hit and everything closed down that I started to seriously think about a career change and how I could make a difference to people’s lives.

“I’ve had experience of someone close to me suffering from mental health issues so that’s what initially led me to look into health and social care and what opportunities were available.

“When I came across the apprenticeship at Realise I jumped at the chance because by then we were in the middle of the pandemic and I just wanted to help.”

Not settling on just getting his own qualification, Oliver has recently used his experience to encourage others who are interested in working in care to take the plunge.


Oliver Wood former lifeguard becomes an apprentice

There are loads of opportunities available in the care industry so I would encourage anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship to go ahead and do it.

Oliver Wood

Oliver added:

“When I left college I originally wanted to be a medic in The Royal Navy but I had quite a serious knee injury which prevented me from going down that route.

“Instead, I went straight to university to study animal science but that didn’t really work out either so I decided to become a lifeguard at my local leisure centre.

“It got to a stage in my life where I’d been in the same job for about four years and I was stuck in a rut. I wasn’t 100% happy but I didn’t know what to do next.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have found a job that I love and I believe that anyone can turn their life around with a little bit of help.

“I’ve started getting involved with a group of unemployed people who are in a similar place to where I was because they’re also at a crossroads in their lives.

“I can completely relate to how they’re feeling because that was me just a couple of years ago. I’m at a stage now where if I pass my exams then I will look at pursuing my dream career of being a trauma nurse.

“I just want to inspire people with my story and show them that anything is possible. There are loads of opportunities available in the care industry so I would encourage anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship to go ahead and do it.”

About Realise

Realise provides first class skills, education and employment services to more than 7,000 learners and thousands of employers across a host of sectors in the UK every year.

Do you want to kick start your career?

If you want to find out about how you can become a Realise apprentice click on the link and start the conversation now!

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