How the CDP apprenticeship helped Helen to discover her "career spark!"

28th September, 2022 Read time: Two minutes

Hear how Helen Morris, used the L6 Career Development Professional apprenticeship to become Manager of Careers across the Redhill Academy Trust.

The CDP apprenticeship is the most advanced apprenticeship we offer at Futures and is equivalent to a degree level qualification. It is designed to offer an individual in the Careers Guidance sector the ability to achieve the significant milestone of becoming a registered Career Leader. 

“the attainment of a level 6 or higher career-related qualification (60 credits) approved by the Career Development Institute as giving eligibility to the UK Register of Career Development Professionals.  

We met with Helen to ask her about her experience embedding a Level 6 apprenticeship into her busy role at a Nottingham secondary school and how it has impacted her career to date.  

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship in an already established career?

I had been a teacher for twenty years and decided to take stock of where I had got to and where I wanted to be in my career. I had tried a number of roles within school, including Head of Sixth Form, but I was still looking to further develop the elements of my career that I most enjoyed.

The career development sector encapsulates a lot of what I love about working with the 11-18 age group and so I saw it as a good fit for me. I still use a large percentage of my teaching skill set but have been able to challenge myself to interact differently with learners which has not been easy, but I have relished the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of something new. At times it has put me out of my comfort zone but I have been able to open up new opportunities that I hadn’t previously thought of, which has given me back my career spark!


What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is feeling like I have made a difference to the students I interact with. To an extent I could say this of my teaching career, but working as a career development professional has given me a much more direct focus on helping to empower students when making career decisions, which is something that gives me immense job satisfaction. I like that I get to interact positively with groups and individuals for the vast majority of my time.


How has your employer benefitted from their investment in your training?

By offering me the opportunity to train as a career development professional, my employer has filled a vacancy as well as helping me to retrain. It's a win-win; they now have a fully trained Adviser who has a good sense of how we can move forward in developing our careers related learning programme.

They now have a fully trained Adviser who has a good sense of how we can move forward in developing our careers related learning programme (enhanced by completion of the Careers Leader training units). I also have an extensive knowledge of the school I work in, which I see as a massive advantage!

Since my appointment my employer has taken on a further two careers development professional apprentices as they see the value of offering this route. Interestingly both are people seeking to side-step in their careers and so this has been a great way of developing what is now a cohesive careers team across the Nottinghamshire schools in our Trust. I can also support them effectively as I know what they are going through and what they need!


In what way has your apprenticeship impacted your future?

The apprenticeship has given me the chance to develop my career in a different direction. Since I completed the course I have also been promoted as the Manager of Careers across the Trust, which means I am an Adviser in a school but I hold an overview of a wider team. My training has allowed to me to envision how we might develop our provision across multiple schools with my amazing team, which is very exciting!

Looking ahead, stepping into the careers development sector has also allowed me to consider new opportunities in the future, whether this is the idea of working for myself or moving into Higher Education, all ways in which I can develop further should I decide it is right for me.


If you work in a Career Guidance role and are interested in the Level 6 Careers Development Professional apprenticeship, check out our upcoming live taster sessions here! 

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