Apprentice shortlisted in Plymouth City Council’s STAR Awards

We are delighted to announce that one of our Teaching Assistant Apprentices, Amelia Ward, has been shortlisted for Plymouth City Council’s STAR Awards, in the Apprentice of the Year category. The Awards recognise staff’s hard work, commitment and dedication.

Amelia is currently working towards her Level 3 Apprenticeship at Longcause Community Special School through Skills Group, and has now been offered a permanent position as a TA.

Amelia says: “I have to make sure that the children are safe and that others around them are safe too, whilst ensuring that they are enjoying school. The apprenticeship has taught me lots of new skills such as behaviour management techniques. I’ve also learnt the best ways to teach English and Maths and have even learnt Makaton (sign language). It’s very challenging but rewarding”.

Donna Maclean, a teacher at Longcause, comments: “Amelia is brilliant; to see that much confidence in a young girl at her job is amazing. Amelia has been here for 2 years now and is part of a core team around a particular pupil as she’s working really well with him. I rarely have to give her guidance, she is very good at thinking on her feet, remaining calm and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. We offered her a full time, permanent position with us as she’s so great!”

Dave Shurmer, Amelia’s Trainer/ Assessor at Skills Group, comments: “Throughout her apprenticeship, Amelia has worked tirelessly to support a range of pupils with complex and sometimes profound additional learning needs. Amelia is always open to new ideas and has developed a wide range of skills specific to behaviour management, differentiation and engaging pupils through exciting and innovative activities. Amelia’s patience, dedication and enthusiasm are highly commendable, as is the impact she has had on supporting pupils in her school. Amelia now has a fantastic platform upon which she can build her future career, and we are delighted that she has been offered full time employment at the school – well done Amelia!”

The 2019 Star Awards will take place on Saturday 14 September on Plymouth Hoe.

Congratulations and good luck Amelia!

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