Break the trend: Meet our apprenticeship champion Jake Eames

“A few years ago I Sat My GCSES, this Year I’m…”

“Working on my Team Leading Level 3 apprenticeship at Ventro”.

“I really believe in Ventro’s work – making sure that buildings and the people within them are protected from fire damage. I think it’s my dedication to the company that has helped my career progression so far. I’m responsible for the set up and closure of projects, making sure that all aspects of the jobs are planned out and closed down efficiently.”

Ventro is one of the top Passive Fire Safety Specialists in the UK, providing Fire Doors, Fire Dampers, Fire Stopping, Fire Sprinklers and Fire Rated Cladding to a range of sectors including councils, housing associations, hotels, social care and the NHS.

“I started working at Ventro as a Business Administration apprentice. Ventro quickly encouraged me to do my Team Leading qualification after seeing the dedication I gave to the company. The programme has helped me take on more responsibility within the organisation and I am now a Project Manager and soon to be Head of Project Support, with accountability for jobs all over the country.

“My Team Leading qualification has made me more confident in organising projects, as well as managing a team which was one of the modules covered. I also found that lots of work I was doing in my everyday job could be used directly for my qualification coursework, such as providing an example of a project from start to finish.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Skills Group – the team is really supportive. Whenever I was struggling with motivation or coursework, my trainer encouraged me to keep going. My advice for anyone thinking of doing the Team Leading qualification would be to stay on top of your workload and, if possible, block out time with your employer to work on your coursework.

“In the future, I’d like to progress onto my Level 5 Business Management qualification and enjoy more responsibility with my new role as Head of Project Support. Eventually, I’d like to grow my team so that I can take on a more supervisory position. I feel really lucky that I found my ideal career path through an apprenticeship”.

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School