Teaching Assistant Olivia wins Apprentice of the Year Award

31 May 2017


Olivia has recently completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Childcare and is now continuing to work in the nursery at Parish C of E Primary School in St Helens.

In 2016 she was nominated for and went on to win an Apprentice of the Year award, after beating off tough competition. Olivia is proud of what she has achieved, she said: “I couldn’t believe that I would get this far in the first place, never mind winning the award. I feel really proud of how far I have come.

“I’m really glad I did an Apprenticeship, it’s helped me more than if I just went straight into the job, I have learned over time and that has been good for me.”

Olivia started her career through a Childcare Traineeship with St Helens Chamber, before progressing onto an Apprenticeship. Traineeships are a flexible programme of study, including work experience that prepare young people for the workplace and make sure they are ready to undertake an Apprenticeship.

Michelle Highcock, Nursery Leader at Parish C of E Primary School was impressed with the level of training that Olivia had as a result of her Traineeship.

She said: “Olivia came to us in October on a Traineeship and did seven weeks with us to find out if this was what she wanted to do. Within about 2 or 3 weeks we know that we would be offering her an Apprenticeship with us.”

On her Traineeship Olivia gained several qualifications relevant to the childcare field, which made her a stand out candidate for employment with the nursery.

Michelle continued: “Olivia came to us at the end of her pre Apprenticeship course and she had done all her preparing for work training including Food Safety, First Aid and safeguarding training.

“These are all the things we would expect a fully qualified member of staff to have and she already had that.”

Both Olivia and Michelle felt that St Helens Chamber had been instrumental in the successful delivery of Olivia’s Apprenticeship.

Olivia said: “My Apprenticeship has been really good and I have felt like I’ve learned a lot from it, especially since leaving school. If I hadn’t been to the Chamber I wouldn’t know half of what I know now.

“The Chamber were really flexible with my training, and the training was really interesting and you feel really comfortable when you are there learning.”

Olivia has now been given more responsibility and is employed by the school’s breakfast club and covering classes in the school. She has hopes of taking her training to the next level and becoming a teacher in the future. She said: “I’d like to be a teacher so I’m going to do my level 3 teaching assistant course with the Chamber, I’ve progressed from level 2 so that will put me on my way to achieving my goals.”

Mark Thomas, Acting Head at Parish C of E Primary School also praised Olivia, he said: “As a trainee, Olivia has been superb. She has fully embraced school life and genuinely seems to love coming to work!  The Apprenticeship has been a superb career pathway for her.”

For more information about Apprenticeships please call Starting Point on 01744 698800 or email apprenticeships@sthelenschamber.com