“New year, new job and a new me”

Date: 20 July 2017

Jack Mackenzie apprenticeship

17 year-old Jack Mackenzie was in his second year of sixth form at Astor College in Dover studying A-levels in Business Studies, Maths and Sociology. Like many students, he was struggling to cope with the intense amount of coursework, which would leave him feeling stressed, overwhelmed and juggling a weekend job didn’t help matters.

The pressure became too much for him and he made his mind up to leave sixth form before completing his A-levels. He began looking for full time employment and it was during his search he came across a Business Administration apprenticeship online working for the trust.

Jack started working for the Dover and Deal Community Mental Health Team for Older People (CMHSOP) team at Coleman House while studying Business Administration. He had help and support to manage his coursework from tutor Anna Tindell from Lifetime Training; one of the UK's market leading training providers, offering apprenticeship programmes, recruitment services and training courses. The team were really supportive and he wasn’t just thrown in the deep end. He was able to continue with his coursework, whilst working alongside the team observing meetings, offices processes and caseloads.

He says: “I enjoyed my apprenticeship and working full time provides me with a better work-life balance. I work Monday to Friday for eight hours per day. I wasn’t in sixth form for eight hours a day, but I would spend three hours each night doing coursework.

He adds: “I wasn’t able to switch off or relax. I can now socialise with my friends and love having weekends to myself. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

The now 19 year-old, who lives in Dover, completed his year’s apprenticeship and following a successful interview has become a permanent member of staff. He now works for the team at Coleman House as an Administrative Assistant. He answers the phone, takes enquiries and types consultant’s letters.

Colleague Sarah May said: “Jack is a very popular member of the team, well regarded by all. He is a fantastic team player, works hard and deserves to progress to the next level.”

Jack said: “If anyone is thinking of doing an apprenticeship I say go for it! It is an excellent scheme and is an alternative option for people who might not like the academic lifestyle. I knew I didn’t want to go to college and this was the only door open to me. A few of my friends have also done apprenticeships and have found permanent jobs.”

Jack hopes to further develop his career working in administration for the trust.

For more information on apprenticeships, please visit: www.gov.uk/education/apprenticeships-traineeships-and-internships

For more information on Lifetime Learning, please visit: www.lifetimetraining.co.uk/about-us/

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