Hope Gorhery, Level 2 Hairdressing

Hope started Sixth form and quickly realised that school wasn’t for her.

“I never really enjoyed school and the environment. I knew I needed to do something different as I wasn’t happy. After researching apprenticeships, I found Skills Group. I really liked that the Hair Training Academy was its own entity and didn’t feel like you were at college. You have to manage your own work and time, if the work isn’t completed, you can’t then go out with an employer – this gave me drive and ambition to get the work done as there was an end goal. I finish the work, I start my career and that’s exactly what I did.

“Being in a working salon made me grow up – I needed that. You have to work as a team and help the Stylists out, you are dealing with real life paying clients so ensuring you give them the best possible service is really important.

“Working alongside the qualified Stylists gives me an insight into what I could be doing in the future which is so exciting and aspirational, and makes me want to work even harder. I really like having the support of the other apprentices too, we can share our experiences and help each other.

“In the future I want to go on to do my level 3 and specialise in curly hair. There’s a gap in the market for this and having curly hair myself, I really understand how to work with it! Evaluating and planning my future is something I’ve never done before but since doing my apprenticeship, I know now it’s important to have goals to strive for.”

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

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