Name: Richard Webster

Age: 32

Company they work for: Community Action Bradford and District

Apprenticeship provider: Shipley College

I'm a 32 year old dad, I enjoy sports and Martial Arts, I have been working in factory environments as a Team Leader for the best part of ten years, Now that my children have become a little older, I took the brave step last year to try and do something I really enjoy doing by taking this new challenge.

What is your apprenticeship in and why did you choose this sector?

I chose the voluntary sector to do my apprenticeship in Digital Marketing because the core values to help people and give a little back means a lot to me, I will hopefully make a big difference to people's lives by disseminating key information that could lead to the bettering of someone else's situation.

What does your average working week look like?

On average at Community Action Bradford and District, my week consists of designing key messaging for social media and for print material. I spend a lot of time making sure that messaging is targeted to those who need it the most within the Bradford District. As a team we evaluate what is priority and what needs to be shared. I use our newsletter to send information to our subscribers and also social media.

Recently, Community Action Bradford and District created the Behind The Mask campaign to counteract conspiracy theories against Coronavirus and a Self-Care Booklet that gives readers vital support information, ranging from fuel poverty to domestic abuse plus much much more. Community Action went to print with 180,000 copies to distribute across the Bradford District for the residents and organisations of the city. Thanks must be given to Bradford Council whom we worked in partnership with to get these great campaigns off the ground and into the homes of the people who really need this support.

Why did you opt to do an apprenticeship rather than A Levels or a BTEC?

The apprenticeship offered me a way of changing sectors by starting from the very bottom in terms of learning, and building my skills as I earned money. I couldn't have made the brave move without the apprenticeship so I am very thankful that even at my age it is possible to change direction with your life and make the most of your skills and make them grow.

What is the most rewarding thing about your apprenticeship?

Learning on the job has been difficult in these times, however it has been very rewarding when we as a team have got it right, knowing that we may have made the biggest difference to someone's life. Seeing my classmates over Google Meets is not what I expected when enrolled in College, but surprisingly it has worked very well. The support is just as good as if I was attending College in person, the staff and trainers are always there to lend a helping hand if you are not quite sure of a certain topic. They offer a very pleasant experience so it is very rewarding in the sense you feel valued, even remotely.

If one of your friends was thinking about doing an apprenticeship what advice would you give them?

I would tell them to go for it! We only get one lifetime, and it shouldn't be wasted doing something you are not passionate about. Even if you are in need of some extra Maths and English to get you to your qualification, help is at hand. I've only ever been given support and encouragement from the College. It is such a good feeling knowing I'm half way there now.

Once you are qualified, what are your plans for your future career?

I plan to use my new skills in the sector I have already joined, the voluntary sector, working with charities such as Community Action Bradford and District to help get the information to those who need it.