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Trust invests in apprentices

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

PART OF THE TEAM: Alun, now a permanent member of the Calvert Trust Exmoor team after completing his apprenticeship, training current apprentice Dylan on the trust's indoor climbing wall.

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AS well as providing activity holidays for those with special needs, Calvert Trust Exmoor supports jobseekers starting their careers through apprenticeships.

The trust has a longstanding partnership with Duchy College, which runs all its outdoor education apprenticeships.

This week we look at three members of the team who have chosen the apprenticeship route: Alun, now in his third year, having completed his apprenticeship and stayed; Will, one of last year's apprentices, who will qualify this month and also stay; and Dylan, who is this year's apprentice.

Alun joined in January 2012, having worked in a special needs school in North Wales. As well as working with people with special needs, he wanted to do more outdoors, so the opportunity seemed perfect when he saw it online.

Since completing his apprenticeship, Alun has completed his Single Pitch Award, probably the most sought after climbing qualification, taken charge of bushcraft and forest schools activities and begun teaching apprentice Dylan.

Alun is also setting up an after-school climbing club for children from North Devon schools. He is currently studying a Level 3 diploma in outdoor education.

Will joined in January 2013, with eight years' experience as a carer. A keen sportsman, he played rugby for Somerset, but had no outdoor activity qualifications when he saw Calvert Trust's apprentice advert in the Journal.

Will said: "It's a misconception that the college/university qualification route is the best way to go; for a large number of people a vocational route is better. The apprenticeship is perfect for people like myself to take a step up the ladder in a different way."

When he completes his final qualification, an abseiling model, this month, Will will take on a permanent role with the trust.

After volunteering with the activities team for three months, Dylan joined the trust in October 2013.

Dylan said: "It was fantastic to be offered the chance to become an apprentice at Calvert Trust; I had recently completed my Level 2 in outdoor education with Petroc, and wanted to work with outdoor activities."

Dylan has just returned from a weekend of walking and climbing in the Cairngorms with a British mountain guide on a winter skills course, thanks to the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust.

He has gained lots of experience with guests of all levels of ability, has completed his climbing wall award and an abseiling qualification. Next month, with the help of Duchy College, he will be completing a Level 1 "coaching for canoeing" course.

He said: "My goal from the apprenticeship is to become qualified and experienced as an activity instructor, so I can do this as a career."

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