Aspiration Awards 2023: Apprentice of the Year – Christopher Ademola
The Apprentice of the Year category recognises an exceptional apprentice for their work, either within their workplace or in relation to their classroom-based learning. This year’s winner is 16-year-old Christopher Ademola, an Adult Care Worker Level 2 apprentice studying through Salford City College, whose exceptional skills and behaviours are helping to improve the lives of those he cares for.
Christopher first decided to look for an apprenticeship after being inspired by his mum to work in care services. When his family decided to move to England from Nigeria, there followed a period of separation in which his mum moved first, and he and his family followed a few months later. Christopher reflects: “At that time, I had to take on the parental role to take care of and look after my brother – as an older brother should.”
It was a responsibility that Christopher picked up naturally, and soon he knew that he wanted to make a difference and help people as a career – but firstly, he needed to find an opportunity with an employer to support him with getting into the sector.
He soon applied for the Adult Care Worker Level 2 apprenticeship at Wigan Council and was successful. Looking back on his interview, Karen Bradshaw, Service Manager at Wigan Council and Christopher’s manager, said: “When I first interviewed Christopher for an apprenticeship, he stood out from the crowd.
“He told me he had always looked out for others. His passion was to make people happy, and he wanted to make a difference to people’s lives. He told me that anything worth doing in life must benefit the people around him. His smile and kind nature shone throughout his interview!”
Showing compassion and care
Since starting his apprenticeship, Christopher has been keen to gain experience in a range of services so he can understand different patient needs and how each service works, spending time in areas such as dementia care, mental health, disabilities, autism and more.
Leaving a strong impression on these placements, two managers immediately offered him permanent placements, due to his dedication and excellent work standards!
Allan Milne, Director of Apprenticeships & Employer Engagement at Salford City College, said of his on-programme work: “Cristopher’s apprenticeship work is exceptional – he demonstrates emotional intelligence, which is clearly applied to the individuals he supports. In dealing with a range of services, he has experienced extremely challenging behaviours, but he always shows compassion and care, and his kind nature shines through.
“He’s found different and innovative ways to motivate those in his care – one example being an individual who had been unable to leave his setting, who is now being taken out regularly in the community because of Christopher’s intervention and determination to find ways to engage with this person and help to improve their quality of life.”
L-R: Christopher's mother, Shakira Ademola; Trainer Assessor at Salford City College Group, Lisa Collins; Christopher Ademola; and Head of Account Management at NCFE, Damian Lythgoe
Making a real difference
Christopher recently spoke at Salford City College’s Apprenticeship Awards in National Apprenticeship Week, detailing his experiences in front of over 150 employers and apprentices, before going on to win the Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year Award.
In fact, his passion for the care sector is so strong that Christopher has even set up a YouTube channel (UNIFIED OSCE) alongside his mum, where they share knowledge and practice in care to support overseas nurses, such as sharing guidance for working with Alzheimer's patients. Christopher primarily films, edits and manages the channel.
Looking towards his future, Christopher wants to continue to learn and develop his skills before moving into Occupational Therapy as a career path, saying: “I’ve got big plans. To me, there's nothing more satisfying or rewarding than helping people to regain or maintain their ability to perform an activity. It’s liberating and its life-changing.”
Speaking on the impact Christopher has made in his role, Karen finishes: “The apprenticeship programme has given Christopher the chance to make a real difference to the lives of individuals.
“He continues to excel, thrives in his learning and training, and welcomes feedback to increase his knowledge, understanding and experience to deliver quality care. I am so proud of Christopher's progress – he is an asset to Wigan Council.”
Congratulations Christopher! To read more inspirational stories from this year's award winners and recipients, visit our Aspiration Awards 2023 page.
Apprentice of the Year 2023: Christopher Ademola
Watch: see Christopher Ademola receive his award
Our Apprentice of the Year winner is 16-year-old Christopher Ademola, an Adult Care Worker Level 2 apprentice studying through Salford City College, who is helping to improve the lives of those he cares for.
Our Against All Odds winner is Gabriella Fox, an inspiring individual who began studying her Level 2 Certificate in Creative Craft (Cookery) remotely through Technology Triumphs in January 2022.
Our Centre of the Year winner is Learning Curve Group, who impressed the judges with their dedication to their learners’ needs, ensuring that every learner receives equal opportunities.