“I’m learning so much on this apprenticeship!” says 19-year-old Ryan Pratt who is doing a Level 3 team leader apprenticeship at Believe to Achieve, a children’s charity in Wolverhampton 

Ryan added: “I did my A Levels in the summer and wanted to get more hands-on experience to help me decide what I want to do in the future, so an apprenticeship is ideal for me. 

“The charity works with young people to promote positive mental health and wellbeing through counselling, therapy support and workshops and, as well as delivering sessions in schools, I’m gaining first-hand experience of how the business operates and the challenges it faces, such as how it has had to adapt during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’m also learning all aspects of what it takes to become a leader – working with children of all ages, working with parents and carersworking in groups, managing people, and leadership skills. I’m a confident person anyway but I’m learning the right way to do things and where there’s been areas I’ve had to improve on I’ve used it as an opportunity to develop rather seeing it as a criticism – it’s an ideal way of learning for me and will prepare me for whatever I decide to do in the future. 

“The Level 3 team leader qualification that I’m doing as part of my apprenticeship is challenging, but in a good wayI’ve been used to an exam environment where you have to give structured answers, whereas in my assignments I can express my view more.  And my tutor is fantastic – even though we’re learning remotely at the momentshe’s always there for advice and to run through my assignments with meshe’s a real asset to the college! 

“Through this apprenticeship, and working for the charity, I’ve really grown as a person. I’m getting more of an idea of the real world and the challenges and battles that people have to face 

Experience is everything and however you choose to learn – whether at university, doing a full-time college course or an apprenticeship – it’s important to do more than what’s expected of you – keep learning, keep reading, keep pushing yourself as it’ll set you apart from others and stand you in good stead, whatever you decide to do in the future.