Success Stories: Sophie Nickels, Childcare Level 2

Sophie is working at Bambinos, Plymstock – one of Plymouth’s best known childcare companies that has also just won the Best Nursery Group Award at the National Nursery Recognition Awards! Sophie is currently completing her Level 3 Childcare qualification through Skills Group and is doing fantastically!
We had a chat with Sophie to find out more about her apprenticeship.

“I chose to do an apprenticeship as I wanted to learn and earn and I prefer hands-on activities. I started doing health and social care as I’ve always enjoyed helping people but I then moved to childcare as I also have a passion for working with children.

“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship. The teams at Bambinos and Skills Group are brilliant; they’re very supportive. Throughout the apprenticeship, I’ve discovered that I work particularly well and enjoy being in the pre-school room and Bambinos has adapted to that. My assessor from Skills Group is also really helpful; she is always on hand to support me when needed and helps put my coursework into context.

“Each week and day is a truly unique experience for both me and the children .We follow the Bambinos Approach and support children with a vast array of natural, authentic and curious resources enabling them to scaffold their own learning. I enjoy supporting them to become curious.”

“The Level 3 qualification has cemented and enhanced everything I learnt during my Level 2, and has enabled me to have more responsibility which I’d like to build on in the future. My confidence has also grown hugely throughout the apprenticeship.

“My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship would be to think about what you enjoy doing and the careers that relate to your hobbies. During the apprenticeship, it is important to break down each module so that the coursework becomes manageable. I would highly recommend an apprenticeship!”

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