My Time as a Trainee

Trainee Q&A

In the run up to recruiting our new BDP trainees, we catch up with a current trainee to find out about his past year learning and working in frontline services – providing support to people around their problematic alcohol and drug use.

Why did you choose to become a trainee at BDP?

“It was never my intention to become a drugs worker.

I’d been volunteering in Bristol as a peer mentor and I felt like I had gone as far as could go with it. My ambition was to do more but I had never had a paid job. I did apply for a job but they said I needed to get more work experience.

A previous trainee from BDP said to me, ‘why don’t you go for this traineeship?’. At first I was a bit ambivalent and unsure, but that was more to do with confidence of whether or not I’d be able to do that. But this traineeship has been a good way of testing whether or not I had the ability to do it and if it was something I wanted to do. It has been a good solution between volunteering and a permanent job, to enable me to get that experience that employees are after.”

What have you most enjoyed about the traineeship?

“The single thing that I’ve most enjoyed about the traineeship is feeling part of a wider team. Being put in a position of trust with the freedom to be allowed to crack on and do the job.

Just the ability to form relationships with an array of different people from our diverse client group
and hopefully having an impact on people’s lives in a positive way. I do think I’ve done that, more that I believe I would have been able to do before.”

What’s the biggest challenge you have had to overcome as a trainee?

“Confidence. Without a shadow of a doubt. That’s the biggest change I’ve noticed is my ability to do the work around other people. Initially I really struggled with it, but everyone here at BDP has been really supportive.”

Has your personal experience in recovery shaped your traineeship?

“If I’m being honest, I think my own experience in recovery did give me a good grounding around how services are. However, being on the other side of treatment is very different and it has been a steep learning curve.

But because I felt trusted to do it, I could crack on and be myself. That’s what a lot of people at BDP said, ‘just be yourself’. Rather than trying to be similar to this person or that person, work out what works for you. That’s hopefully what I’ve achieved.”

Has the traineeship helped you overcome barriers to employment?

“I feel that if I applied for a job now I’ve got just a good a shout as getting an interview as anyone else. Before, I would have thought I’m not going to get it because all those barriers: prison, never having worked before, addiction. But now I’ve got the belief that actually I’ve still got those things but they don’t necessarily have to be detrimental. I can still demonstrate that I’ve been working for a year continually.”

What would you say to people thinking about applying for a traineeship?

“I would tell them that it’s an opportunity to become part of a skilled and varied team. It’s an opportunity to put yourself in a situation which wouldn’t be open to you. And if you can demonstrate you’re able and willing to do the work, opportunities will come from it. That’s not just in my case but many previous trainees’ cases.”

Having nearly completed his traineeship, this trainee has already successfully gained permanent employment within Bristol’s Recovery Orientated Alcohol & Drugs Service (ROADS).

Click below to find out more about being a BDP Trainee or apply for a position by noon on 9th March 2018.

Become a trainee

4 minute read

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