Break the trend: Meet our apprenticeship champion Akaysha Raymond

“Last year I Sat My GCSES, this Year I’m…”

“Working on my Level 2 Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship at Rogers Group South West. It’s my first week on the job and I’m already working on The Box in Plymouth – a major redevelopment scheme in the centre. I’ve been getting stuck in straightaway, and have already started painting and sanding.

“Before my apprenticeship, I started A-Levels in anatomy and physiology. However I wasn’t enjoying the course as it was so theory based. Then, one weekend, I painted my Mum’s garden fence and ended up painting the whole house, as I enjoyed it so much! That’s when I realised, I wanted to do this as a career.

“The apprenticeship will help teach me how to work with different age groups, as well as how to be more independent and how to handle money. I already intend to save up for a car!”

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