Jessica Danby – Shortlisted finalist for Apprentice of the Year 2018

Congratulations to Jessica Danby who has been shortlisted for Plymouth City Council’s Our Star’s Awards 2018, Jessica is one of the five finalists nominated for the prestigious Apprentice of the Year category in which the nominees are judged on their initiative, commitment, dedication and excellence.

20 year old Jess has been working towards her PE Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship through Skills Group since November 2017 and is absolutely delighted to be nominated for this award. She thoroughly enjoys working at Yealmstone Farm Primary School and has gone above and beyond what is expected of her within her role, it is clear to see why she has been nominated for this award. As well as her PE Teaching Assistant remit Jess also volunteers as a Meal Time Assistant and helps to coordinate extracurricular activities such as; after school Dance Club, the School Walking Bus, school events and discos.

Jess commented, “I love working with the children and enjoy getting involved in all aspects of school life. I am passionate about seeing young people succeed, being happy and leading a healthy lifestyle.”

Prior to her apprenticeship Jessica studied Musical Theatre at college and progressed on to the University of Chichester but found that the course wasn’t quite what she expected, so she decided to return home to Plymouth.

Jess applied for a PE Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship so she could earn while she was learning and maintain a career that incorporated her love for dance and all things active! For anyone else wanting to take this route Jessica’s advice is “If you really want to achieve something, just go for it. The one to one training and mentoring is really beneficial and has helped me to achieve my goal”.

Dave Shurmer, Skills Groups’ Sports Trainer and Assessor said “Jessica has been a revelation at her school, making a genuine impact on pupil progress and raising activity levels through her position as the PE Apprentice. She has been extremely proactive in building opportunities for pupils to access competitive sport through her role and I am delighted that she has been offered a contract subsequent to her Apprenticeship at the school. Jessica should be proud of her achievements over the past academic year– well done Jessica!”

Jessica is certainly very deserving of this nomination, she has shown herself to be very dedicated and committed throughout her apprenticeship, we wish her the very best of luck at the Apprentice of the Year Awards ceremony!

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