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Alcohol & Other Drugs, News & Media

Learning on the job

Posted on: 8 September, 2022

These past 12 months working for Cranstoun as a engagement and recovery worker trainee have been a fantastic and insightful learning experience.

When I applied for the job, I was equipped with my GCSEs, less than 12 months of experience working in mental health care, and zero experience working in a substance use setting. Within a matter of months training with Cranstoun I felt confident and knowledgeable in the field, and by the end of my trainee programme I had been awarded a level 3 NVQ in adult care and a full-time job, independently managing my own caseload of over 60 clients.

A typical day working as a trainee with Cranstoun is split between academic training and working on-the-job. There are a number of training sessions focused on the various elements of good practice in adult care, as well as many opportunities to engage directly with service users by developing care plans, conducting a range of tests and assessments, and assisting with their queries and concerns both in-person and over the phone. Most of my time is spent in or around our general office, where I’m surrounded by experts in the field, all of whom are willing to support and guide me in my training. To me, the most rewarding aspect of this job is having the opportunity to make a genuine impact on the lives of others, and be witness to their recovery journey first-hand.

If I could change anything about the current trainee scheme, it would be to place an even greater focus on opportunities to work alongside the existing staff and support them with their duties, as it was during these experiences that I believe I learned the most about the job. The apprenticeship scheme that has been developed by Cranstoun has granted me the opportunity to go from knowing almost nothing about this industry to being fully trained and working independently in only 12 months.

I would absolutely recommend to anybody interested in a career in substance use to consider becoming a trainee with Cranstoun – it’s one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have in this field.


Liam Topping, Engagement and Recovery Worker, Cranstoun
Taken from an article in DDN Magazine, September 2022


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