Jade Mason - More than just a qualification

When Jade Manson first began her apprenticeship in Animal Care and Welfare with us, she had no idea how much she would learn. Her journey to discovering what she could achieve has taken her further than she ever thought.

We spoke to Jade to hear her story.

“Confidence comes naturally to many.  Most people that I know were full of confidence after leaving school; they believed they could do anything they put their mind to; go to college, then to university, go on to achieve great things etc. My journey wasn’t like that. I didn’t go to university or into further education due to suffering with anorexia for many years. I missed out on what was normal for many others my age because of my health, and consequently ended up working in many different industries, feeling very lost and constantly trying to find my feet. I had no idea what direction I wanted to take and no specific qualification to help me either.

That is when my apprenticeship journey began and things really started to change for me. My apprenticeship pushed me to realise that I CAN achieve great things in life. It helped build my confidence again with animals – I rode a very dangerous horse a few years before, and it really set me back. Completing an animal care apprenticeship working with llamas helped rebuild my confidence by being around large animals and as a result, I found I could push myself to get back into horse riding which had been my passion since I was nine years old!

I found the apprenticeship really manageable and not as daunting or stressful as attending a university and sitting exams in that formal setting would have been for me. It was great to steadily build up skills and gain a qualification over the course of the year. Once I completed my apprenticeship, I was in a completely different place mentally and had a better sense of my short-term goals. Having travelled in the past, I knew that I wanted to be abroad to live and work, and with my self-esteem now back, I decided to just take the plunge.

I set my mind to travelling to find work and in August, I made it happen. Having my new qualifications in animal care enabled me to secure a coveted volunteering spot at Mouries Farm in Skyros. I helped with the conservation of their native breed of Skyrian horses. Going to Mouries Farm was hands down one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life, I was one of the only volunteers trusted with tacking up, training the horses, and helping with basic horse care lessons with visitors.

After Skyros, I went to Athens and then Thessaloniki. I have now started a long-term job here working remotely for a company in Athens and am moving into my first ‘own’ apartment! I never would have had the courage to do any of this without having completed my apprenticeship!

For me my apprenticeship meant so much more than just gaining a qualification; it gave me my confidence back; something that due to my health I had lacked for so many years. I of course now know more about llama care and behaviour than the average Joe, but doing my apprenticeship gave me confidence and taught me I can still achieve great things in my life. It taught me to follow my heart and my passions, which is the exact reason I came to Greece. I feel so lucky to now be able to do this!


If you would like to find out more about our apprenticeships follow the links below or simply contact our friendly team to discuss.