A City of Wolverhampton Council worker is counting on starting a new career in Social Work after passing her Maths qualification for her Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Wolverhampton.
Rosemary Busby, 56 from Wolverhampton, passed the Functional Skills Level 2 qualification in Maths for her Degree Apprenticeship in the University’s Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing. The University supports Apprentices to achieve their Functional Skills qualifications in Maths and English so that they can study an Apprenticeship at degree level to further their careers.
Rosemary, who works for City of Wolverhampton Council’s Family Services, has five children and left school with no qualifications when she was 15, getting married at 16 and having her first child. After raising her family, she worked in a variety of roles for 20 years, both volunteering and working, supporting teenagers and children in outreach services before becoming an Intensive Family Support Worker at City of Wolverhampton Council, working closely with Social Workers to keep children out of care.
She said: “I have always wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a Social Worker but leaving school early, getting married young and having five small children, it just never seemed like the right time. I was offered a place on the Degree Apprenticeship programme by my employer and was offered support from the University to get my English and Maths Level 2 qualifications. What was interesting is that lecturers noticed that I was slightly numbers dyslexic and they offered additional support to help me.
“I passed my English qualification in January and it took me four attempts to pass Maths and I’m so pleased. The wonderful tutor, Paul Barber, who delivers the course on behalf of Serco, guided me throughout the progress and answered questions when I got stuck on how to solve something, he also broke down solving methods in order for me to fully understand what was required to gain the answer. He had so much patience.”
Rosemary is studying for the Degree Apprenticeship part-time, spending one day at University over three years and working on a placement for 7 weeks. She said: “I love studying and am surprised about how much the learning relates to the work I’ve been doing. I am learning more about how the theory links to working practices and how the law works – it makes much more sense to me now and I find myself able to challenge more and being able to evidence things. There is a lot of reading and a lot of homework but my family has been very supportive as has the University. I’ve had lots of advice and guidance in terms of the academic side of things and, as it’s a brand new programme, the first cohort of students has been shaping the process so we are all learning together.
“I’m passionate about keeping families together and keeping children safe and this is an amazing opportunity offered to me at this time in my life. My kids and grandkids are really proud of me!” Rosemary has 14 grandchildren aged between 3 and 22.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for children and young people at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate Rosemary on her hard work and dedication.
“Rosemary is an invaluable family support worker at the council, so it is wonderful that our partnership with the University of Wolverhampton under the Degree Apprenticeship programme has helped her achieve this recent success. By offering our staff the opportunity to take up the programme, we can give many more people the chance to develop the right skills to further their careers. Social work is an incredibly important role for families in our city and we are thrilled that we have been able to support Rosemary as she works towards her ideal job.”
Michele Roberts, Head of the Apprenticeship Hub at the University, said: “Despite the pandemic, we still have a healthy Apprenticeship cohort starting at the University in this new academic year and there are signs of recovery in key areas such as health, digital, construction and legal. Degree Apprenticeships continue to be valued by employers in supporting staff technical and professional skills development to help grow their business and employers, without a doubt, see the rewards of increased loyalty and return on investment.
“Rosemary’s journey has been amazing and shows how we are providing opportunities for people of all ages to further their careers, even supporting them to achieve their English and Maths Level 2 qualifications to help them start their journey.”
Sonia Mahay, Principal Social Worker at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “‘We are delighted that Rose has wholeheartedly taken this opportunity to achieve her aspirations in the field of social work. This programme provides a platform to grow and develop staff. It has been a pleasure working with the University to provide a programme that equips people like Rose with the right skills to further their career.”
The University of Wolverhampton has grown its work based learning of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships with growth at more than 250% since they were introduced three years ago.