Izzy Bowen came to Skills when she was 16 after realising A Levels wasn’t right for her.
“I have always been interested in working with children, so when I saw the Childcare Apprenticeship and researched into how hands-on and practical the qualification would be, I knew this was the right path with me. After completing an initial 12 week Study Programme, Skills Group found me a Level 2 apprenticeship with Pixieland Nursery and from there, I’ve never looked back!
“Having a good employer is really important. It’s a full-time job, so you have to enjoy your surroundings which I really did. I built a great support team; from my employer to the girls I worked with and the Trainers from Skills Group.
“Natalie, my Trainer at Skills Group, has been my rock throughout my learning journey. If I’ve had any problems or questions, she’s always been there to support and advise me, I wouldn’t have got this far without her.
“I’ve had my challenges, especially within the last year with some personal issues, however I always kept thinking about the long-term benefits of completing my qualifications and knowing I will always have this to fall back to and that’s what kept me going.
“I’m so proud that I am only 19 years old and already have 3 years workplace experience and qualified at a Level 3 Standard!
“Now I’ve nearly finished my Level 3, I want to go and explore my options. I’m young so, I’d really like to work on cruise ships in the nurseries so I can travel the world but still have a career I love.”
Image: Izzy Bowen (Left), Natalie, Skills Group Trainer/Assessor (Right)
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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!