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Katie Cortvriend

Care Assistant

Katie is a care assistant in a dementia unit, a role she earned through the Step into Care recruitment programme.

What’s the story of their career to date?

Katie secured a place at university studying a nursing degree, but experience working in a care role was one of the enrolment requirements. She had no previous professional care experience and found herself in a catch-22 position when searching for jobs; the jobs advertised needed people with care experience, but she needed the care experience to be able to progress. Luckily, with the help and support of the Step into Care team, she has now secured a job in a care home.

What do they do?

Lots of topics were covered on the programme, from mental health awareness to safeguarding. The team would generally cover a different topic each day and would involve group discussions, videos and tutor-led talks. The daily classes finished at 3pm, which would then give them time to complete homework tasks and subject quizzes. Katie also got to know the tutors and other students and they became very supportive of each other and had confidence instilled in them by the tutors. It was difficult to get the hang of the virtual classroom environment, but the tutors were very patient, and they all got into the swing of it.

What’s the best thing about their role?

After many setbacks in job applications and trying to find her feet in the career sector, Katie began to feel demotivated and started to lack confidence. The opportunity to participate in the Step into Care programme came at just the right time, making her realise it’s definitely the correct career path for her. She really enjoyed meeting the other students, crossing paths with people she might not have otherwise, learning from their unique experiences.She also didn’t realise just how much support the Step into Care team would offer her. She found it really helpful that the employability manager arranged her work placement. Since starting paid work at the care home, she’s had a few catch-up conversations with the employability manager too, and finds it reassuring that the support is still there in her early days of employment.

Where are they going from here?

Katie says to go for it! It’s been really beneficial for her and her classmates. If you’re still unsure, speak to someone at the Greater Manchester Careers Hub - they are so experienced in what they do, so they will be able to guide you further on what the best steps are for you to take.

Where are they going from here?

Katie has travelled extensively worldwide, spending many years in India, even spending the first year of her degree immersed in South Asian culture. She is humbled by the many people she’s met along her journey, who have taught her patience, acceptance and gratitude. She has also been fortunate enough to meet spiritual teachers, many of whom inspired her to practise meditation. All of these experiences allow her to take a calm, mindful approach to my career and allow her to achieve a healthy work-life balance. She has also recently taken up running through the NHS Couch to 5k programme, finding it helps her to unwind and, after the physical strains of working as a care assistant, it also rejuvenates her on her days off.