It’s National Apprenticeship Week, so we wanted to take a moment to recognise the fantastic work our apprentices do in schools across Kent.
Our Gills Apprenticeship programme was set up in June 2015 to provide a structured and credible employment pathway for young people, while meeting the sports staff needs of local school partners. So far, the programme has provided over 40 young people with placements in 25 different schools across Kent – to the benefit of themselves and the students they work with.
The programme is going from strength to strength, and our apprentices are flourishing in their roles. Two such successes are our second year apprentices, Tyler and Andre, who have both just passed their NVQ Level 3 in ‘Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport’.
Both apprentices started their Teaching Assistant and Sports Coach Apprenticeships with the Trust in November 2015. Andre has been based at Regis Manor Primary School in Sittingbourne. Since starting, he’s set up a popular football team for the school, planning fixtures with other primary schools and entering the team into tournaments. Tyler has been working at St Anthony’s School in Margate. One of the big things he’s set up is a lunchtime football club, which the children see as a reward for behaving well in class.
During their apprenticeship, both boys have received lots of support from their schools and the Trust. “You’re never on your own,” said Andre. “If there is an issue you don’t know how to deal with, the school are able to help.”
“On the apprenticeship, if you struggle with any of the coursework, the Trust will always get you through it,” added Tyler, “and if you’re behind they help you to catch up.”
Both apprentices acknowledge that patience and confidence are the two biggest skills they’ve developed in their roles, as well as an understanding of how to differentiate their approach and work with a range of different children.
Freddie Wilson, Apprenticeships Manager at Gillingham Football Club Community Trust (GFFCT), said of the boys’ success; “I am delighted with the progress of both apprentices, who have been a credit to our programme. Both are on their way to full-time employment with their respective schools.
“Andre has moved into mentoring work, assisting at risk NEET students with their journey into employment. He is also assisting the school’s Maths and English provisions in addition to PE and employability courses such as CV writing, interviewing techniques, and life skills.
“Tyler is continuing into his second year at St Anthony’s School in Margate where he is a Learning Support Assistant (LSA), assisting the class teacher with multiple different lessons such as Maths, English, ICT, and PE. Tyler is also working with a number of students as a one-to-one learning mentor which is a great experience for him, as he is working with children with mental and physical disabilities, and also behaviour issues.”
Having completed their qualifications, both Andre and Tyler are now looking towards a bright future. “My long-term ambition is to be a football coach,” confirmed Andre. “The things that I’ve learnt in the classes I can take into my coaching delivery, and I’m hoping to get my coaching badges.”
“I’m hoping to go into teaching with a focus on PE,” added Tyler. “I’d like to get my qualifications to teach, and I think my school could support that. The programme is very helpful – it helps you get through your work and the course throughout the year, and it opens up jobs.”
Alongside Andre and Tyler, other recent apprenticeship success stories include our apprentices at Hoo St Werburgh Primary School – Tom, Bradley and Craig – who have all had second year placements confirmed at the school as a result of their brilliant work they’ve done there so far this year.
Well done to all of our apprentices, and we look forward to plenty more success stories in the future!
If you’re interested in finding out more about our Apprentices programme, contact Wayne ‘Freddie’ Wilson on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find out more about the Gillingham FC Community Trust’s work here, or on Twitter @GillsCommunity