My Management journey so far
Bradley Watson- Co-Director, Wipers cic
it was quite an easy decision to make
Why Bradley Watson decided to do an apprenticeship despite having an established career
We caught up with Bradley Watson to find out why he chose the apprenticeship route to upskill and develop new management skills and knowledge.
Bradley Watson is co-director of Wipers CIC, a youth justice social enterprise based in London
Bradley told us: “My skill set did not particularly fit my title as co-director and I wanted to do better. To be fair, it's just a title. Even though I'm a co-director, it’s quite daunting having that title so I'm doing this apprenticeship as it will help me develop myself for more management duties. I have a small number of colleagues who report to me so this apprenticeship will help me become a better manager."
We talked about how an apprenticeship can help empower disadvantaged youth, but through Bradleys discourse it is evident that doing an apprenticeship has also empowered him. It has allowed him to feel more confident in his title and also as part of the senior management team - being someone people can come to for support.
Deciding to do an apprenticeship was an easy decision for Bradley: "Wipers was already a referral partner for EEV Training and EET Group and I got talking to a member of the EEV Training team and they told me they have more work based apprenticeships and asked if I'd be interested. I read about the programmes on the website and I thought, yeah this would be so ideal for me with what I'm doing at the moment. It goes hand in hand with my work, so it was quite an easy decision to make. The great incentive with the government where they fund 95% of the programme costs also really helped.
My relationship with EEV training is really good and the communication is good. The staff members they always get back to you as soon as possible. They check in to see if the work is being done or if there are any problems you've got. With being a referral partner as well if I wanted to refer a young person to do an apprenticeship course, they come back straight away and tell me they have been booked on. I recommend those that haven’t done a mainstream education or didn’t really get the qualifications they desired to get into any college. So, I would recommend it to those that aren’t in employment education or training and I'd recommend it to friends and family."
"Wipers work with young people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. So some of them that have been in trouble with the law, and we do things such as mentoring and group work. Basically, to support them and to help them come away from a life of crime. So we do stuff such as like, prevention work so maybe supporting them in to education, supporting them into employment that sort of thing. We also do work in schools and youth centres. Delivering workshops about various topics."
The work Wipers is largely surrounding those who have fallen into a life of crime. There are many reasons as to why some may turn to crime, be it poverty, those from a lower-class background being unable to reach the standards of success set by the middle-class known as 'status frustration' or simply because they are peer pressured into it. This led to the question on whether apprenticeships could possibly empower disadvantaged and disengaged youth. "I find that apprenticeships it gives you the opportunity to work and make money. So if you come from a disadvantaged background where it might be harder to get the qualifications you might need and then get a job. With an apprenticeship you could get both skills and qualities tend to kind of make it in life and make a successful career. It empowers them because it lets them make their own informed decisions" says Bradley. Perhaps it is the power of autonomy to "make their own informed decisions" which empower the youth so much. Often due to the inability to conform to societal pressure due to external circumstances it may be hard to follow the mainstream route into success. This leads to crime such as theft and robbery to help fit the persona of a 'successful person.' Apprenticeships allow those who cannot necessarily afford to be out of work or spend thousands of pounds on an education to obtain both. Earning while you learn may be particularly appealing to these
groups of people.
However, why would someone who already has a career and income want to do an apprenticeship? Talking to Bradley has allowed us to see how powerful doing an apprenticeship can be no matter what stage of your career you are at. Like Bradley, many feel like their title is just a 'title' or have impostor syndrome. Having that confidence that you deserve to be in the position you are in can be largely helped by doing an apprenticeship or simply up-skilling yourself. Becoming more skilled in your role with us today, get in contact with us to find out more about what you can do in your current role.