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RachelS93 · 19/01/2020 17:40

Hi all,

I feel like I'm a bit stuck at the moment, probably like most people just doing a job that pays the bills and is flexible with child care but not really what you want to do.

I have a 2 year old and I'm currently 13 weeks pregnant, so I know right now I can't really do anything but I've been thinking a lot about re-training to become a veterinary nurse.

The problem is because I don't have science GCSE and I can't study full time so university isn't an option, an option I was interested in was completing a Level 2 qualification in animal care and then going on to complete the Level 3 which is one way of getting on the ladder, however as part of the qualification you need to be doing a minimum of 10 hours (paid or unpaid) work at a vets, for me it would most likely be unpaid as I haven't any experience working in a vets.

So my question is, has anyone here been able to re-train/study with children, how did you manage financially and work it around childcare etc? I'm concerned my UC will stop if I choose to reduce my hours in order to volunteer and study.

I currently work 17 hours a week for a supermarket (it's a good job just not something I see myself doing long term) however after maternity I would like to reduce my hours to 5 hours a week and use the days my children are at nursery to complete voluntary work at a vets so I can complete my qualification. My little boy will be 3 at this point so I should get funding but the baby will not, my partner has said he'll help as best he can but neither of us earn a lot and part of me feels guilty wanting to do this as we really will be skint but I just don't see myself working in retail long term and I'd like to do something I enjoy.

So if anyone has any advice on how to go about this I'd appreciate it!

Thanks for reading :)

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maxelly · 20/01/2020 17:21

Hi, I don't know about the UC I'm afraid so can't help there, but just to drop in some encouragement, please don't feel guilty about trying to better yourself, it should definitely be worth some short term drop in income if it will lead to a better, more stable financial situation in the future, plus the self-worth you'll get from a more fulfilling job and the example you can set to your children (not that working in a supermarket sets a bad example at all but you know what I mean!).

That being said, would you not be able to do at least some of your volunteer hours around when your partner is home so as not to have to drop down to almost no paid work - vets are usually open evenings and weekends, and would probably tend to be more short staffed at these times than during the day so might appreciate your help then? If you could perhaps put in one 5 hour shift volunteering out of hours, one 5 hour shift in the daytime and then keep 12 hours/2 days at the supermarket, that might be a good balance?

Does it 100% have to be experience at a vets for a level 2 qualification or can any animal care experience count? You might find it easier getting a placement at a charity/rescue place (if its small animals you want to work with), or perhaps at a local stables or farm (for horses/large animals) than at a vets practice which can sometimes be overrun with work experience/placement students/volunteers, depending on the time of year - and again these places will want weekend volunteers/observers as well as daytime ones. Being able to think outside the box is always helpful!

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