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My name is Shanette Prince and I work in the Criminal Justice Department as a Liaison & Diversion Support Worker. I am currently on a Level 2 Adult Care apprenticeship.

Due to leaving school without any formal qualifications I never thought it would be possible to get a job that would lead to a professional career. I love my job and feel privileged to be able to work for the NHS and support people who are in crisis. My job role involves offering advice, guidance and support to individuals who find themselves in police custody.

I had my two children at a young age and really struggled with my mental health and addictions for many years. I hit rock bottom and with the support of The Nelson Trust, a charity which helps people with their recovery from addiction, and my local church, I manged to turn my life around and have the confidence and help to apply for my job.

The apprenticeship has really helped me with my confidence as well as teaching me new skills which I can apply to my job role. My tutor is brilliant and has really helped me progress. I have been recently diagnosed with dyslexia and have support put in place to help me with my apprenticeship portfolio. I am also working on my maths and English functional skills alongside my apprenticeship.

My work colleagues are really supportive, they made me feel at ease from day one and I’m learning from them all the time. All apprentices need a workplace mentor and mine has really helped me understand how to apply all the new skills I’m learning on the apprenticeship to my job role.

Being able to earn a wage and train at the same time has been brilliant. I’m even looking to buy a house shortly and this would not be possible without my apprenticeship role at the Trust.

I am due to finish my apprenticeship shortly and will start an advanced Level 3 apprenticeship next to further my training and career, my aim is to complete a degree apprenticeship in either mental health support or social work.

All of the apprenticeship training is fully funded so I am not having to rely on student loans or grants to get me through and will be earning a wage all the time I’m training.  I will be so proud when I achieve my degree and can’t wait to be able to share my accomplishments with my family.