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Success Stories


It's incredibly rewarding when people take full advantage of the opportunities that NVQs and Apprenticeships offer them, often finishing the course even though there are many other demands on their time. Here are a few of our recent 'success stories'.

Name: Josh Harrison

Employer: Jet Aire

Jet Aire is pleased to announce that one of our youngest employees Josh Harrison has successfully completed his Level 3 NVQ in Administration through an Advanced Apprenticeship with Key Training.

Following Josh’s commitment and proactive approach to tasks throughout his Level 2 NVQ, Jet Aire agreed to support Josh through his Level 3 NVQ to continue developing his skills and experience.

Speaking of his apprenticeship, Josh told us,
“An apprenticeship has such an advantage to a person’s career – I would definitely recommend one to anyone who wants to gain experience and industry-relevant qualifications.”

All at Jet Aire are very proud of the progress Josh has made and hope that he remains a full-time employee with us, advancing within a professional industry.

Click Here to view the article on the Jet Aire website.



Name: Kate Fenwick

Employer: Key Training Ltd

My name is Kate Fenwick and I am 18 years old. I decided when I was 16, that I did not wish to study at college or sixth form, I wanted to gain an apprenticeship. I attended an interview for the position of Recruitment Apprentice at Key Training, and was overwhelmed when I was offered the job. I was so excited to enter the world of work, however at only 16 with no work experience and fresh out of school, I was very nervous. I started working for Key Training in August 2014, 2 months after completing my GCSE’s. I was working on the main reception, and started my NVQ Level 2 in Recruitment Resourcing. I remember being very nervous and constantly asking questions, I made a few mistakes but I learnt from them. The support I received from my team and manager was amazing, they helped boost my confidence and showed me how to complete a variety of different tasks. Whilst I did find my qualification challenging, my Training Consultant and team helped me understand my units and gave great support.

After 9 months of working on the reception, I was fully settled in my role and had gained a lot more confidence. This came to be recognised as I was then moved from the reception, into the recruitment team. I was very happy and excited to be working closely with the recruitment consultants. I had a designated mentor and my manager was constantly giving me support as well as guidance. After 12 months, I finished my Level 2 NVQ and I then moved on to start completing my NVQ Level 3 in Advanced Customer Service. I became a Recruitment Resourcer, working closely with my mentor and completing more advanced recruitment duties. My Training Consultant was fantastic throughout my Level 3 qualification, I had so much help and guidance from her and she taught me a great deal. Finally, in September 2016, I had completed my NVQ Level 3 and was made a full-time member of the Key Training family.

The support I have received from my team, managers and training consultants throughout my apprenticeship and time here at Key Training has been outstanding. I learnt a great deal from them, they moulded me into the person I am today and I owe them a lot. I am turning 19 years old this month and will now be moving onto new pastures. I am so grateful to everyone that has helped me throughout my time here at Key Training, they have set me up to believe that through hard work and determination, I can achieve my goals and progress onto amazing opportunities.



Name: Mojnu Miah

Employer: Newport Pagnell Medical

In April 2013 I started my customer service apprenticeship with Key Training with Lesley Jones as my trainer. 

I made some bad choices after I left school and dropped out of college twice from A levels and doing a BTEC course for less than a month.  I felt like the 'normal' system was not for me as well as probably mixing with the wrong crowd probably did not help. I never really did well at all in my A Levels or my BTEC as I felt them to be overwhelming. I really just thought I wasn't clever enough.  From mid 2011 to the start of 2013 I was pretty much doing nothing and had this waiter job which I did shifts for every now and then. 

I decided to try and make something of myself and found out about apprentice schemes and joined up. I was then soon doing an apprenticeship with the Newport Pagnell Medical Centre with Key Training and Lesley as my Trainer. 

Its fair to say I was not the Ideal apprentice/student and did I cause her grief? Probably 100 percent more than any other apprentice she ever trained.  For the first 3 months I did not just find the Job difficult to a certain extent but I never even did any of my apprentice work - same as my A Levels and BTEC I was starting to find it overwhelming.  I was then pretty much ready to leave and I really did not feel motivated to carry on and felt like I am just not clever enough for this?  There were three other apprentices already - one who passed who was doing amazing and then there's me failing.  

Lesley who was by this time very well in her right to be very frustrated with me came to my work to meet with my manager Lynn, she then explained her concerns and then came to speak to me.  I pretty much felt like this was it and I could not continue the course and I would just leave. However this was not case, Lesely was so understanding and she just listened to me talk. She motivated me again.  We then spoke to Lynn who is my manager and we all made a deal that I would do the best I could and put in 100 percent at work as I was not doing well at that time and turning up late all the time and not doing  a lot of work for my apprenticeship. 

That month was hard BUT lesley was either at the end of an email of available over the phone. I am telling you it is only because of Lesley that I managed to do as much as I did in that month  - she was a massive help and support.  I ditched the bad friends, came to work on time and always gave 100 percent and within the coming months caught up and finished all my apprenticeship work early and was getting praise from all my work colleagues and patients.  Lesley not only supported me with my apprenticeship but she was always there when I needed guidance for work? I heavily relied on her for advice at the start and then I needed her advice less and less as my confidence levels were rising and I was becoming more capable. Because of her I would not be where I am today.

After my apprenticeship I was offered a full time job with the Newport Pagnell Medical Centre as Lynn the operations manager and Caroline the practice manager said I was far to valuable to lose.  Within 2 months I was promoted to IT support for the practice and was given a pay rise and again was  given another pay rise because off all the praise I was getting from patients and colleagues. Caroline said I was very valuable and I deserved it.  Within 4 months I was promoted to Team Leader as Lynn clearly stated that on all fronts I excelled and clearly displayed all the key features needed. This again came with a big pay rise.  These Key Features came from Lesley's advice and her training me.

From opening the post to becoming one of the four team leaders (who have been team leaders for 10 years plus) within 2 and half years is a massive achievement.  I am now progressing very well and a couple of months ago was given another pay rise as I am always going above and beyond. 

I might be getting all the praise, promotions and pay rises but I think its now fair for me to give praise to the person who no one knows about and it is solely because of her I have reached this far- Lesley.  I owe her a massive thank you and words will never be enough for what she has done for me. I am living very comfortably and my life has changed around for the better because of her. She did not have to do as much for me as she has done, she really did go above and beyond. Who ever gets Lesley as a trainer in my eyes are guaranteed to succeed and realise their potential and do things far beyond what they ever expected.

Now saying all this Lesley probably does not even realise how much of a help she has been to me! As that's probably the way she is and how she works, however not once did I say thank you to her properly.  She tried so hard with me and because of how I was she probably thought I did not appreciate it or that she was not getting anywhere. I did appreciate and I still do appreciate it and, as I said before, words are not enough. 

Mr Clarke thank you for taking your time to read this quick email which I have finally found time to write up after a busy work schedule.

I just wanted to say thank you to Lesley.



Mojnu Miah

Name: Joanne Wynn

Employer: Wardhadaway

I have been working in law firms since I was 16, I started out as an office junior and completed a Level 2 NVQ in IT. I then became a float secretary and was then promoted to a partner's secretary around 12 months later. My first NVQ was a fundamental part of my development at that time. I then left that role and went to work for another company as PA to the Head of Education. I completed my Level 3 NVQ in Business Administration at Dickinson Dees with Key Training as I had a desire to continue to develop my skills and knowledge.

I am now working for Wardhadaway for the Head of the Commercial Department and have been promoted to Department Coordinator and I oversee the support staff and all administration and support related matters for the whole of the Commercial Department.

I am currently part way through my Level 5 NVQ with Key Training in Leadership and Management and this has been an important part in my development and has assisted me greatly in addressing management issues within the department.

The NVQ's I have completed have demonstrated my commitment to my own personal development and have helped me greatly in developing my skills to deliver the results that employer expects from me. I would not have been able to apply for the roles that I have held without this support to my development.

Name: Remy Buchanan

Employer: Newcastle Business School & Northumbria School of Law

What an achievement for you all at Key Training - 50 years! I remember the very day I popped into the office and spoke with Carolyn who offered me my very first employment after finishing college at 18. I learnt a tremendous amount working with Carolyn for a couple of months before Key Training arranged my interview at Northumbria University for an apprenticeship post.

I am still here at Northumbria and loving it; and I am very pleased to say I have progressed ‘up the ladder’. Key Training encouraging me to study for NVQs played an important part in my development.

Following interview I started at the University in November 2009 as an Apprentice Grade 2 working closely with PhD students in the Arts, Design & Social Sciences School. The apprenticeship included taking NVQ exams and I gained levels 2 and 3. To my surprise and delight in 2010 I was awarded Apprentice of the Year from Key Training and I was runner up in the North East Apprentice of the Year. 

One year into my 18 month apprenticeship I applied for a promotion and was successful. The post was Student Support Administrator Grade 3 in the Business and Law School, Postgraduate office. I was the Academic Facilitator and main point of contact for 250 Masters Students working across numerous programmes. I worked there for nearly 3 years and gained a lot of experience and developed many skills. 

Subsequently in September 2013 I applied for promotion as a Student Support Co-ordinator Grade 5 in the Student Support and Wellbeing Department. I was successful and this is my current role.
I am the Disability Support Coordinator for students within the University. I lead on dyslexia support at Northumbria University and am one of the main contacts for students with disabilities. I have management responsibility for the Disability Support team’s Grade 3 administrative staff. I report directly to the Disability Support Team manager (Grade 7). I was heavily involved in Student Support and Wellbeing’s recent successful application for Customer Service Excellence accreditation.

Overall since starting at the University I have been promoted 3 times within 5 years. It is an excellent employer and I hope to continue to work here and progress higher in the University management structure. My salary and permanent employment allowed me to purchase my own home last year; and I appreciate at 24 that I am very lucky to have achieved this.

I hope this brief outline sums up what I have achieved in 5-6 years since Key Training set me on the apprentice road. It worked out really well for me and I would encourage any school leaver to take this route into employment. Thanks must go to Key Training for accepting and supporting me when I was young and inexperienced.  

Name: Rachel Barr
Employer: Newcastle Business School & Northumbria School of Law

Since starting at Northumbria in 2009 quite a lot has happened! I starting in the School of Arts and Social Sciences in the Registry Office doing a programme support role. From then in February 2011 I successfully gained a permanent administrator (grade 2) role in the School of Life Sciences in the Student Support office. After the restructure of the Universities administrative structure in the summer of 2013, we all had to reapply for our jobs and I gain a Faculty Support Administrator (Grade 3) role in the office that I was working in. I felt like I had done all I could do in the student support office therefore in February 2014 I successfully gained a Faculty Support Administrator (Grade 3) role on the Programme Support team in the Faculty of Business and Law, Newcastle Business School. More recently, in March this year I gained a Programme Support Coordinator (Grade 5) maternity cover role within the same team. I will be covering this role until the beginning of next year.

Over the years I have completed 4 NVQ which are; levels 2 & 3 in Business Administration and levels 2 & 3 in Customer Service. With these qualifications and my experience of working at the University have both enabled me to enrol onto a part time degree here at the University. The degree is BA(Hons) Leadership and Management which I am now coming to the end of my second year and I am sitting on 2:1.

I think it is safe to say that I have had quite a bit of movement over the past 5 and a half years and I have thoroughly enjoyed working at the University. I certainly would not be in the position I am in today if it wasn’t for Key Training giving me the opportunity to start my journey here at the University as an apprentice back when I was 17. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I was given and truly thank Key Training. So thank you very much so all of the Key Training staff who have helped me!!!

Name: Danielle Clapham
Employer: UPS SCS

I would highly recommend anyone thinking about progressing their career to do so by completing NVQ’S with Key Training. I started working for UPS in 2008 as a basic warehouse administrator. I was offered the opportunity to complete a Business and Administration NVQ level 3, whilst working for my employer, without the need to travel to college in 2011. I jumped at the chance as I was eager to progress in my career and further my development. I found the course educational, informative and fun to complete!

Meg, who was my assessor was very friendly and outgoing, I felt that I could talk to her about anything. She made the Assessments easy to understand and if extra help was needed she was only a telephone call or email away!

Once I completed the business and administration NVQ my job gained more responsibility by managing the workload and training of 2-3 other members of staff as well as self-managing my own workload and day to day tasks. After a few months I enquired to see if there were any further courses/NVQ’s that I would be able to complete and found the Team Leading NVQ Level 2. Again, my assessor was Meg which made the course much more relaxed/enjoyable as we had already built up a good rapport and working relationship. I finished the course in 2012.

I found that by completing both of these NVQ’s has helped me to be more confident and knowledgeable regarding business and administration in a whole and also improved my team leading skills immensely as it encourages you to think outside of the box.

Moving forward to February 2014, I applied for a Sales Administrator role within my organisation and was successfully appointed for the role. I am now the sole Sales Administrator for UPS SCS for the whole of the United Kingdom and Ireland. I deal with new and existing clientele, liaising with the Sales executives on a day to day basis. My role varies from sending quotes, to setting new accounts up, advising customers how to book and arrange collections, dealing with customer queries, and building up trust and a professional relationship with each customer to give the best service where possible.

Looking back to when I first started with UPS in 2008, I feel that having completed the NVQ’s with Key Training it has helped me further my career to where I am today. It has given me knowledge, confidence and helped me to develop my strengths which has made me a valued asset to the company and a stronger willed, more determined person to succeed in my chosen career path.

Name: Justin Foulger
Employer: South West Trains

Hi, my name is Justin Foulger, I'm 21 years old from Basingstoke and I joined a Key Training apprenticeship in 2010. My first apprenticeship was at the Hackwood Partnership doctors surgery in Basingstoke doing a NVQ Apprenticeship level 2 in Business and Administration. During my Business and Administration Apprenticeship I did Key skills in communication. In 2011 I completed this apprenticeship and moved onto an Apprenticeship in Customer Service level 2. I did this qualification for a year and moved onto an Apprenticeship in Customer Service level 3 in 2012. During my Customer Service level 3 Apprenticeship I studied level 2 key skills in Application of Number. This was the hardest qualification for me as I'm not good at maths however I had great support from my assessor to help me study for the exam. I did pass the exam for the third time in 2013. After passing my level 2 Key Skills in Application of Number exam I went onto doing a Level 3 Diploma in Business and Administration. During this qualification I studied EDI Functional Skills qualification in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Level 2, developing my ICT skills. 

In 2014 I successfully completed all my Apprenticeships and gained all these qualifications. During my Apprenticeship at the Hackwood Partnership my goal was to join South West Trains. I wanted to become a train driver however to become one I need to work my way up within the company. This meant I needed to do customer service roles such as ticket inspectors or platform staff. Through my Apprenticeship with Key Training I was able to do an Apprenticeship which would get me customer service qualifications which South West Trains needed. To join South West Trains I needed to complete a few assessments prior to being accepted for an interview. I had to pass English and maths based assessments. With my Communication and Application of Number qualifications through Key Training I already had the skills to pass these assessments. I passed the assessments and in 2014 I joined South West Trains and became a Gateline Assistant. A Gateline Assistant is a ticket inspector at the ticket barriers and someone who give's assistance to passengers, like train times queries and help with luggage. 

I enjoyed my Apprenticeship with Key Training at the Hackwood Partnership and I would recommended it to others. Thanks to these opportunities, I am now in lifetime career with South West Trains where I’ve always wanted to be.

Name: Charlotte McGregor
Employer: Ward Hadaway

With the help of Key Training I gained employment at Ward Hadaway Law Firm, working as an administrator in the Post room my job tasks consisted of sorting the post, scanning and copying bulky complex bundles for court other firm etc. I provided help to the Healthcare department and to Commercial Litigation whilst completing my NVQ level 2.

Following this an administration role within the Personal Injury unit arose which entailed a variety of responsibilities that I had not completed in my previous role. I was a successful applicant and my daily task list grew. I was responsible for completing bills, liability and quantum statements for clients I had dealings with insurance companies. The extra tasks that I was expected to complete off my own accord allowed to complete a further NVQ – Business Admin level 3.

Shortly after completing my NVQ Level 3 a Paralegal within the department announced her intention to leave tom progress her career further at another firm. I was offered the position to which I was delighted at another opportunity to further my career within the legal industry. I began liaising with client’s and counsels and found that this was something I really enjoyed and could see a long future in this industry.

I was very aware at the competitive nature of becoming a lawyer but also very aware at the opportunities that would be available by having a Law degree on my CV along with my NVQ qualifications and educational qualifications. I decided that I had reached my full potential without a degree.

I was a successful applicant to study LLB Hons (Law) at Teesside University Part time. I am currently working full time as a paralegal at Ward Hadaway I have a small case load of my own and also provide assistance to the more experienced fee earners within the department. I travel to Teesside twice a week for my degree and I have almost finished my first year as a university student.

Administration Assistant Apprentice

Name: Sarah-Louise Chittock
Employer: ISCRE

I applied for an apprenticeship on the website as I was coming to the end of my college course and felt that I wanted a job. I also wanted more qualifications as the college course I completed (BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sport) was not the route that I wanted to go down anymore. When you are 16 you have a very different idea of what you want to do than when you are 18 and going into the ‘real world’. One day I had a phone call from Joe from Key Training inviting me to come down and have a chat about what I would like to go into. When I went, it was an interview but was nothing like I expected. He explained the process and got me to fill out a form as to what I areas of work I wanted to do and then he said that he would contact me soon when he had some interviews that I can attend. I also had to hand in some certificates from my GCSE’s so that they can match your qualifications to different jobs.

Everyone there was very friendly and I felt at ease even though I was making a massive decision with what I do in my future. I did get help with how interviews work and what to ask. I felt that this was a big aspect that I was going to struggle with but they really did help me feel more comfortable about it. I got a phone call about a week later from Joe saying that he found an employer that was looking for an Apprentice Administrative Assistant, which was just what I was looking for. He said that the interview would be on the 18th and that it is at ISCRE - a Race Equality Office. I was so looking forward to it but very nervous! I went for my Interview and it was great. I was so happy that Key Training had found me a great potential employer. I got a call the next day saying that he had found me another interview to go to and that it was the next day again. That next day, I was getting ready to go when I got a call from Joe at Key Training, who said that ISCRE wanted to take me on as an apprentice. I was so elated! I got to start work 5 days later. I feel that Key Training try the best for every single person that walks through their doors.

There are so many bonuses in going for an apprenticeship - experience whilst you are earning a living, functional skills tests (if you got a GCSE D or below- I got to do Maths and ICT Level 2), meeting new people, a chance to progress further. You are able to do NVQ’s (which I decided to do a NVQ Level 3 Administration once I had finished my NVQ Level 2 in Business and Administration).

I really do highly recommend doing an apprenticeship. I even recommended my sister going to Key Training and applying for an apprenticeship once she finishes Sixth Form! I feel that I have learnt so much with ISCRE and have taught me a lot that I didn’t even know.

Her Employer says:

Prior to 2013, when ISCRE was approached by Key Training, we had never employed an apprentice before and as such we were very sceptical. This however, changed after we interviewed Sarah-Louise, among other candidates. Whilst she had no experience in the work we do, her enthusiasm was palpable and we immediately knew she would be a perfect fit to our passionate team. By the time she completed her apprenticeship, the decision to engage her was the easiest we have had to make.

Sarah is the first contact one makes with, when you arrive at ISCRE and we are pleased with the way she projects all that we stand for. Her skills, however, are not just limited to the working space. She has always maintained a very positive and friendly attitude towards all our clients. She is also able to work under pressure and has always managed to solve numerous stressful situations through using her own initiative. She is a hard worker and always tries to create a positive ambiance in the office. Sarah epitomizes all the good things in our organisation and we are in every way, proud of what she has managed to achieve in a short period of time. 

3000th Apprentice

Name: Chloe Boyes
Employer: YPP Lettings Agent

I started looking for an apprenticeship as my college course in health and social care wasn’t working. The course wasn’t the right decision for me and I couldn’t see myself working in the sector long term. I chose to apply for solely estate agency work because I wanted a customer facing interactive role which wasn’t hands on selling and this sector jumped out at me. I also know a few family friends in the industry and was always inspired when they spoke about their jobs. I made several applications on the apprenticeship website and spoke to a couple of training providers. When I spoke with Emma at Key training the position at YPP immediately stood out to me above the rest. I loved that their client base was students so I would be interacting with people similar aged to me and loved the idea of working in this environment. My dealings with Emma at Key Training was always very friendly and informative – she explained to me how the apprenticeship programme works and told me about the prospects after completing a level 2. I was completely drawn in and feel very confident I would be completing my level 3 afterwards to continue my development. She asked me about my strengths and skills and previous experiences and I felt very comfortable telling Emma about myself, It was like I’d known her forever. Emma arranged my interviews for me and made me feel very relaxed and prepared in going forward. My interview at YPP was very casual; I was welcomed by a friendly team and felt very confident and comfortable in interview. This interview at YPP confirmed how much I wanted the position. The following day after my interview Emma contacted me to let me know I was successful and I was over the moon. I couldn’t wait to get started. Prior to starting at YPP I met up with Emma to complete my apprenticeship paperwork and again in this meeting Emma discussed with me what to expect over the first couple of months and how the apprenticeship would fit around the job. This was very useful as, on my first few days, I knew exactly what to expect and what knew what I should be doing. My Key Training Assessor, Ann, visited me in my first week and explained Ecordia in more detail to me and explained my induction tasks. Ann is also very friendly and helpful and I get along well with her. I am now into my second month at YPP and I am really enjoying the work. Its better than I expected and I feel very confident that making the move from college was the best decision for me and my long term career plans. I want to work my way top one day and be the Letting Manager and think my apprenticeship is the perfect place to start that journey.

Her new Employer says:

YPP established in 2012 is a relatively young business but with big plans. We knew very early on in the business that apprenticeships would be a good way to grow our work force with loyal competent staff we can develop ourselves. We originally started working with Key training in 2014 and have taken on 3 apprentices since establishing our relationship with Emma. When we first met with Chloe, we were completely blown away by her enthusiasm and determination for wanting to work in this sector. She presented herself very well in her interview and felt very excited to be getting her on board. She is proving to be a real asset to our business and hope she has a long career ahead of her within our business. We work well with Key Training and find the recruitment process stress free, Emma keeps us informed and takes care of everything for us. The training delivery is not intrusive and doesn’t disrupt the business and we have found everyone at Key Training to be approachable and helpful. We do have future plans for expansion and hope our relationship with Key Training will carry on flourishing and hope this is a new found partnership.

2000th Apprentice

Name: Lindsey Scott
Employer: Kidd & Spoor Solicitors

I ended up coming to Key Training because I applied for an apprenticeship vacancy through their training scheme. I received a phone call from Amanda, one of the advisors, and she invited me to a recruitment day to give me other opportunities to find a vacancy that suited me. 

When I arrived at the recruitment day I found it was a very friendly environment and helpful considering there were other young people there more or less my age. 

I felt that my interview progress went very well because Amanda helped me get the interviews that I wanted and helped me on what to say, how to dress and how to appeal to the employer. Amanda made sure that she gave positive thoughts and opinions about me to the employer so that I had a good chance of being taken on by the company. She let me know all information I needed to know in order to secure my place in the apprenticeship. 

I went down the route of an apprenticeship because I had already tried college and sixth form previously but found it was not for me. I like to be hands on and earning while in learning which is exactly what an apprenticeship is made to do. 

I think I have settled in nicely within the apprenticeship I am currently at and everybody within the company are very friendly, welcoming and eager to help if and when I get stuck doing something. 

Her new Employer says:

Kidd Spoor started working with Key Training in 2012, and recruited a business admin apprentice. Alex settled in very well and has now progressed within the company. Once Alex completed her level 2 apprenticeship and was promoted we then recruited Kate in 2013, who again settled with us very well and has now progressed within Kidd Spoor. Our 3rd Apprentice from Key Training is Lindsey Scott who started with us in March 2014. So far Lindsey is doing very well and is picking things up and settling in with the team - so fingers crossed we will have the same success with Lindsey as we have with both Alex and Kate.  

I am happy with the Key Training recruitment process and have always been sent through a selection of very good candidates to interview who are interested in the available position, sometimes making my decision very difficult. 


Robert image success storyTrainee Sales Apprentice

Name: Robert Luke
Employer: Intergrated Packaging

I had a job in door to door sales that I really did not enjoy and whilst working one evening I knocked on Valerie Rhodes' house door. She works for Key Training and we got talking about Apprenticeships and invited me to apply to her local Centre in Newcastle.

After lots of advice and guidance, Key Training arranged a few interviews for me with their Employers and, as a result, I've now started my Apprenticeship, got a much better wage and I will be doing something I enjoy!


claudia image success story

Digital Marketing Assitant

Name: Claudia Mellefont
Employer: Daykin & Storey
Award: Digital Marketing Assistant

'Dream, Believe, Achieve' and 'Make it Happen', two of my life mantra's and I am thrilled because something has happened!

Having recently completed secondary school education, I stood at a cross-roads. Having already bagged some respectable GCSE results, following early entry while in Year 10, most people anticipated I would go on to study for A-Levels and then the obligatory degree. But no, I wanted more and started exploring other avenues. Tough when you're sixteen and the UK economy is wobbly.

My mum, who works as an Assistant Principal suggested looking into apprenticeship schemes. I logged onto the National Apprenticeship website and was surprised and excited by what I saw. I want to build a career in marketing, with a focus on digital media, where I feel there is serious growth potential and low and behold, what did I spot - an opening for a Digital Marketing Assistant.

So, delving further, my excitement continued. The company, 'Daykin & Storey', don't you know, are specialists in creative strategic marketing, check. They are based in the Business Quarter located near the Baltic, cool. They include the words 'glamourous' and 'fairy dust' in their website, this just gets better. Back to business however, Daykin & Storey, born through an amalgamation of two experienced partnerships, provide full-service marketing for their clients, including email marketing, content marketing, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, pay-per-click, adwords and metric analysis using tools like Google Analytics, impressive.

Having a spent a year undertaking a weekly work experience placement, with the Marketing and Recruitment department at the local university, under the charge of an inspirational mentor, whose resume includes a wealth of marketing experience, working for Topshop and O'Neil, to name but a few, I knew this was the career path I wanted to follow and that this was the job for me. So I honed my online application and within 20 minutes received a phone call from the lovely Laura Docherty, from the apprenticeship provider, Key Training. The very next day, I was invited to Key Training for a preliminary interview and Laura was impressed with me. So much so, that later that afternoon, Laura contacted me to confirm I had secured an interview with the company, this girl is efficient.

I then had a dilemma, my first formal interview. How could I stand out from the crowd and show Daykin & Storey what I have to offer? After a brainstorm with my creative mother, she is definitely in the wrong career, I set about creating a graphical profile of myself, outlining what inspires me, my aspirations and work ethic and a similar profile of the company, showing my perception and understanding of their business.

At the interview, my expectations were certainly met. The team was friendly, approachable and highly professional, they certainly know their stuff. Nerves eased, I was able to talk about my skills, strengths and career goals and what I could bring to the company. Suitably impressed, they offered me the job!

So back to the beginning of my story, I had a choice, A - take up my place at sixth form and study towards A-Levels and a degree, find a part-time job and probably end up racking up a stack of debt, or B, get out there into the world of work, learn directly from the professionals, willing to put their faith in my abilities and nurture my creative talents. Option B wins handsdown, for me, it's a 'no-brainer'.

I cannot wait to continue my journey. The future is bright; my future is Daykin & Storey!


Level 3 Business & Administration

Name: Ashley Scott
Employer: Key Training
Award: Level 3 Business & Administration

When Ashley left school in 2010 she enrolled with South Tyneside College, and started her first year in 2010 which concentrated on her A Levels and when starting her 2nd year she decided she did not want to continue with her A Levels so she changed her programme to something more specific to a Level 2 subsidiary in Business and subsequently left with a Distinction.

In 2012 after she left South Tyneside College and her part-time job working as a Sales Assistant, she applied at Key Training via the AVOLS system looking for full-time hours of work. Ashley got an interview & was seen to be someone that Key Training were currently looking for and offered her the position of a Training Apprentice within our Training Department and started on 13th September. During the 1st year Ashley completed her Level 3 Business and Administration qualification and also learnt many skills within her responsibilities such as:-supporting the Training department -entering reviews & assessments onto the on-line portfolio system/Ecordia -registering learners for their Qualifications & Exams -requesting certificates from Awarding Bodies -processing ACE claims -answering outbound calls and responding to emails -posting out learner certificates

After 12 months within the Training Department a permanent position became available within the Admin Department, which she applied for & was successful. Ashley started this new position in September 2013, and is continuing to enjoy and illustrate her continued development within a Business Administration route, during her admin role Ashley has increased her skills by being introduced to the funding side of Apprenticeships -supporting other members of the Admin department - learning a brand new database/PICS -Being responsible for ensuring that the start paperwork is 100% accurate when received from the Sales Department -Being responsible for entering start paperwork onto PICS -Being responsible for completing learner’s paperwork when they leave the Apprenticeship programme -Liaising with learners when issuing certificates when they leave the Apprenticeship Programme

Ashley is a great example of a learner who has been highly successful in achieving a continued development route since leaving school through an apprenticeship, giving her a work based qualification that has been relevant to her working role within Key Training.


Apprentice to Recruitment Consultant

Name: Paige James
Employer: Key Training
Award: Business Administration NVQ Level 2

Before Key Training, I had just finished sixth form doing my A levels. I knew that university wasn’t for me, it just didn’t appeal to me as there was nothing specific I wanted to do. I wanted to do an apprenticeship within Business Administration. I had no idea who to ask for advice, as my school was extremely unhelpful. I applied for a couple on the apprenticeship website, some got back to me but I was still in school so couldn’t start straight away. It wasn’t until I was looking on Facebook and saw one of Carlos’s Key Training posts and I emailed him telling him I was interested, and from there my number was given to Sean and before I knew it I was at key Training for an interview. I was shortly offered the job, which was great as it was exactly the business administration experience I was looking for. During my time at key training I was picking everything up quickly, and I enjoyed coming into work each day. I have grown a lot more confidence as I am constantly speaking to all kinds of people in person and over the phone. I feel that I have grown up so much and see things more maturely now. About 6 months into the job I pretty much knew everything about my role inside and out, I just had to develop my sales skills. Soon after I had received news about a promotion opportunity for myself, which was great as it’s shown that hard work does pay off, but this also meant that I’m no longer an apprentice and this is where the pressure is added and meeting targets.

So therefore doing an apprenticeship has helped launch my career and I am looking forward to where my experience can take me now.

What Paiges’s Manager says…

Paige joined Key Training after leaving college and only having experience working within a Café. When I interviewed Paige I saw a lot of potential and a confident young individual who was keen to learn new skills. When Paige started she quickly learnt how to use all the systems and was eager to speak to candidates on the phone. She has been a real asset to the team. She has also developed her professionalism during her time at Key Training. Paige has been involved in presenting to students in schools discussing her experience where she delivered a presentation with me in front of 500 students. After 8 months Paige has been promoted to a Recruitment Consultant and I believe that she has all of the ability and skill to succeed in her new role.


Work Experience to Apprentice to Telesales Executive

Name: Kandice Louis
Employer: Key Training
Award: Customer Service NVQ Level 2

I came from a hospitality background and felt that I needed help to gain a career in a more sustainable industry. Key Training held a Sector Based Work Academy, arranged through my contact at the Ipswich Job Centre, which would help me gain a permanent office based position. I did work experience with the sales team, teaching me skills in sales and how to act in an office based environment. They really liked what I did during my work experience and offered me the chance to work here full time and gain a qualification as well. I really felt settled in my role and jumped at the chance to become permanent, giving me the opportunity of creating a more stable career. My time here has given me the hunger to succeed in my role, including having a shot at being named Telesales Executive Of The Year!

What Kandice’s Manager says…

We first met Kandice Louis in June 2012, through a work programme we were running, in conjunction with the local job centre, called Sector Based Work Academy, which involved taking on unemployed 19-24 year olds and placing them into work experience once they had completed a week long customer service course.

Once we had interviewed Kandice, we decided to give her the opportunity to stay with us for the work experience element of the programme, working within the Telesales Team.

We saw great potential in this young lady during this period, which brought us to offer her a placement as a Telesales Apprentice, providing her with a Customer Service NVQ Level 2.

With some coaching, she became an integral part of the team, going from strength to strength in her role. This hadn’t gone unnoticed, so we offered her a permanent position within the sales team, whilst completing her qualification. She has since finished her Level 2 and is now focussing on her Level 3. She has become a valuable member of the team, regularly exceeding targets, hitting successive bonus targets, not to mention being named Sales Person of the Quarter in October 2013.


Apprentice to Marketing Assistant

Name: Carlos Silva
Employer: WWP Training
Award: Customer Service NVQ Level 2

I left school at 18 but hadn’t finished the whole of 6th form education. My attendance and attitude weren't very good and education really wasn’t something I thought I’d need in life.

After applying on-line for about 50 jobs, I started working in a café after but I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life and within a month I felt it definitely wasn’t the place for me!

I decided to look for an Apprenticeship on the main Apprenticeship website and started applying. Only Key Training came back to me, they asked me to come in for an open day/interview. I did really well, unfortunately, it wasn’t quite good enough to get the Marketing placement. However, they called me for another interview with the Head of Sales. This was a 50/50 chance to get the apprenticeship role and when Key called saying I had the job and I would need to go for an induction, that was definitely one of the best days of my life! Knowing that this was probably my best chance to achieve something in life and go on to many great things.

When I first started my Apprenticeship, I felt like a little kid in a football stadium where you look around and everything is bigger than you. Everyone was really nice though and made me feel at home - it feels like a family working for WWP Training.

My first few months at WWP Training were amazing, I met great colleagues and gained many new friends. I learned what each department in the office contributes and how it all connects. I was part of the New Business side of sales gaining in confidence every day.

After the Christmas break, I finished my apprenticeship and was so relieved and happy because it felt all the time and effort had paid off. A couple of weeks later, I was offered a full-time contract and another NVQ to complete. Not only had I achieved a Customer Services Level 2 qualification, I had the opportunity to gain more knowledge and earn more money! Getting a pay rise is amazing. Knowing that you earned it feels so much better than being given it by your parents.

Having the hunger to get more out of life should, in my opinion, be on everyone’s mind. I personally feel happy with what I’ve achieved at19 and am still continuing to learn whilst working. Key Training has given me an opportunity to widen my knowledge and achieve something that I would never be thought to be possible.

I would sincerely like to thank the whole of Key Training and WWP Training for this massive opportunity to give me the chance to work with amazing people and gain great friends.

Believe in yourself and you can achieve anything.