Hi, my name is Aymen Belkacemi, and I have written a blog post about my day out to UCAS, facilitated by the Carers Trust to talk about my experience of being a young, unpaid adult carer and undertaking an apprenticeship.
This is how my day went!
I woke up and got ready to leave the house. I took the Thameslink to Farringdon, where I got on the Elizabeth Line to Paddington, where I then had a 2 hour train journey with GWR to Cheltenham Spa. I was then picked up by a taxi, taking me to the UCAS head offices. All in all, a pleasant journey in.
I was treated to a nice selection of sandwiches and snacks, which was much appreciated after the long journey. Once lunch was over, I was welcomed into a professional studio setup in order to speak about my experiences as an apprentice, and a young unpaid adult carer, and how I found an apprenticeship. This video should be up on UCAS's socials soon!
I was then taken outside to have a few more videos filmed of me speaking about what flexibility my employer gives me in terms of me being a young carer. It was a great day so far, as the weather was nice and it served as a good opportunity to get some advice clips shot in the open air.
Lastly, I took part in a group discussion, feeding back to UCAS about their university application process, to show universities that someone is a young carer, and this has now been included through a worded question within the application form. I am glad I was able to let UCAS know that the wording of the question seems good.
All in all, this was a great opportunity to give back, develop my skills, and add value to myself professionally by gaining real word, practical experience in talking about my journey, and being filmed. This demonstrated my ability to work under pressure and dealing with questions in real time and giving real time responses. I also enjoyed the fact that I was able to influence in UCAS's policy when it came to carers, and giving feedback on how to make it better.
What's coming up:
Well, this week, on Thursday, I will be attending the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards 2023, as a finalist, in the Charity, Voluntary and Public Services Category, something which is a huge achievement to me. With over 300 people nominated for the awards, and just over 100 shortlisted, it is a great honour and privilege. This will serve as a great opportunity to network with various individuals, such as fellow finalists, judges, sponsors and key stakeholders of the awards.
Next Monday, I also have another opportunity to travel, in the form of being a co-chair of The Carers Trust inaugural youth advisory panel, and as part of my role, I will be speaking at the first ever young carers conference, in Manchester next week. This will be a great opportunity to inspire a generation, influence change and give back!