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A Helping Hand

Karl BoeckelerAs a young man Karl Boeckeler remembers thinking “I’d rather be helping people in some way” but he had no idea how he might change career. Instead he ended up working in the motor vehicle maintenance trade for 32 years – 14 as a garage technician then 18 as a mechanical transport fitter at RAF Leuchars.

That all changed in 2015 when Karl was made redundant. He signed on for job seekers’ allowance and applied for a place on Dundee and Angus College’s 7-week Healthcare Academy. “I attended the open day at the college, had my name added to the list of applicants, completed the necessary application form, and had an interview. I was overjoyed to learn that I had been accepted onto the course.”

The first week dealt with team building exercises and career finding advice. “I believe this gave everyone on the course an increased sense of self-confidence, or perhaps a grounding on which to build their self-confidence.”

The subsequent weeks concentrated on training career specifics such as First Aid, Elementary Food Hygiene, Elementary Infection Control, and Moving and Handling, which are all sector-recognised certificated.

“We all attended three placements, each lasting four days, giving us direct work experience within the environments of interest to us. It’s natural to feel a bit out of your depth at times as everything seems new and a bit daunting but as time goes on your confidence builds. On my very first day on my first placement I felt like this but the others went more smoothly as I had gained an insight into what to expect.

“The course gave me a body of evidence that I was able to present to potential employers to support my applications and I quickly succeeded in gaining a job as a support worker with Gowrie Care. Then around a month later I joined the NHS Tayside Nurse Bank as a healthcare assistant.

“I would highly recommend this course as without doubt it was instrumental to my success in finding employment in the health/social care sector. I felt that by the end we had all grown as individuals, we were all familiar with each other and we bonded well as a group.”