Having completing my A-levels, I left secondary school with good grades and decided to further my education by attending university. However after completing a year and a half of my course I realised that university was no longer for me, and I no longer had the ambition to persevere with this form of education. I therefore decided to leave university and explore other opportunities.
After working in two menial jobs to earn money I started to worry about my future career prospects and whether leaving university was actually the right idea. Nevertheless I stuck by my decision and started voluntary coaching for Newport City Council. After a successful summer placement as a play worker I believed that coaching/working with children was something I was passionate about and something I wanted to do in the future.
A few months after volunteering and securing a part time role as a casual coach for the council, I heard about an apprenticeship opportunity at MPCT which would benefit me with future employment prospects. Soon after, I started the apprenticeship at Underwood Leisure Centre as a part of my Level 2 in Fitness instructing (Gym-based exercise), a course that would have been highly costly for me if I hadn't attended the apprenticeship scheme.
During my training I heard about another upcoming apprenticeship scheme within the WRU. This was something that was of high interest to me as not only am I a keen coach, I am also extremely passionate about rugby and the opportunity to bring the two together was something I simply couldn't turn down.
So after some really helpful advice and preparation work about the interview for the role, I was lucky enough to be successful with my process and obtained the position.
Having secured the role as an apprentice within the WRU I gained vast amounts of knowledge and experience working as an active member of the team, and being able to shadow existing full time employees. This is something I believe you can't do as a basic community coach, and is something that benefited me greatly as I continued my development. Working as an apprentice I was involved in activities such as the WRU junior/little stars programmes, the street stars projects in community first areas, as well as working with primary and secondary schools to improve participation levels in the game of rugby.
Six months into my apprenticeship there was an opportunity for me to apply for a full time vacancy. The application process was a hard and daunting challenge but with the support given to me from MPCT I was successful in my application and begin my role as a full time Participation Youth Officer on 16 September 2013.
Gaining this apprenticeship has been highly beneficial to me and is something I would advise to anyone looking to brighten their career prospects. It is something that better suited my lifestyle as it was more practical than being taught in front of a whiteboard. Having realised that mainstream education was no longer for me I am extremely lucky and privileged to have found the apprenticeship programme with the MPCT, and couldn't thank them enough for the help they have provided me with my CV, interview techniques and opportunities to gain qualifications.
I would recommend the course to anyone!