Name: Mike Radford

Age: 50

Apprenticeship: L3 TAQA (Training and Quality Assurance)

I am a Community and Employment Project Officer, working for Groundwork East – based in Cambridge and Peterborough.  We deliver projects for unemployed volunteers, to help them back into employment. Our projects are carried out on site, with funding from partners. We offer City and Guilds qualifications and cscs training as part of the courses we run. I teach Practical Horticulture and usually team up with a colleague to deliver Employability and cscs. It has been an interesting journey for me, learning to balance getting a project built – with untrained volunteers – and fitting in all the units necessary for a Diploma in Practical Horticulture.

I did not relish the thought of going back to school at 50 years of age, to complete my TAQA, but it has been a very rewarding experience. The support I received throughout the qualification helped me to understand the assessing process and how to apply it to our non-classroom way of delivering courses, while on the project. The experience I have gained has made it easier for me to plan projects and has improved my delivery of teaching and training, before assessing volunteers. I now understand how to get the best out of the volunteers, how to test their learning as the project progresses and how to tailor projects so that the volunteers have a positive experience and gain positive outcomes. I would like to thank the college for their support throughout my qualification.