Nina Band, Level 2 Hairdressing

Nina Band, has had lots of life experience, from completing a degree in photography, to travelling and working in retail. Only to find that she hadn’t quite found what she wanted to do.

“It was when I was working in retail that I realised how unhappy I was within my work life. I didn’t want to be in retail anymore and knew I needed to get out before I’d spent too much time there. It was friends in the hairdressing industry that got me rethinking my options; a few weeks later, I was working in the salon and signed up onto a Level 2 Apprenticeship!

“Covid hit quite quickly after I started which really hit hard in terms of my practical work, it was really challenging and difficult to keep motivated but I just had to keep positive, telling myself I could do this and see it through to the end. The benefits of the end goal of having a trade and having a career I really loved, got me through.

“Now, I am so relieved and super proud that I’m fully-qualified and to have achieved a Distinction in my EPA makes me even happier. All the hard and testing times have now paid off – I’m a confident stylist with clients who love my work and a team which I am really close with. Looking back now, I would do it all over again to be in my position now.

“I want to continue to work at Yoke, I want to get to the top of my game, be reputable and most importantly keep enjoying what I do every day.”

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