Helen was not confident the academic nature of school and struggled with routine studies. She knew that she would find it difficult to pass her exams but wanted to prove her worth and demonstrate what she could offer. Helen decided that an apprenticeship scheme could offer her a practical opportunity to achieve success. (Later, in adult life, Helen was diagnosed with dyslexia).
At the start of her apprenticeship, Helen attended work placement for four days every week. She soon began to excel at what she was doing and passed the City and Guilds Level 2 in Hairdressing. She began to enjoy studying and her confidence grew. She went on to achieved a BTEC in Beauty Therapy, a HND in Beauty Therapy, an Assessor Award and finally, a Certificate of Education - all this achieved from the first step of being on an apprenticeship scheme.
Since achieving all the qualifications above Helen has:-
Exceed Training Academy has City and Guilds approval and takes around 34 students a year. For the last two years the academy has been involved with Careers Days, which promote apprenticeship schemes within the school environment, and she has leased extra premises to provide an I.T. suite so students have the benefit of two different working environments.
Helen's future plans include working with Social Emotional Behavioural Difficult Schools, being an alternative provider for pupils expelled from mainstream schools and expanding into other skills areas, i.e. Nail technician apprenticeships
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“I feel the best achievement in my working career has been getting involved in training apprenticeships. I feel I am making a difference to the choices young people can make and the path they then decide to lead. I give them an opportunity to succeed due to my commitment, motivation and belief in what they are capable of accomplishing if someone gives them an opportunity. I feel that the knowledge and experiences I have gained throughout my career enable me to be a great ambassador for the apprenticeship scheme and what students can achieve.”
Helen launched Exceed Training Academy in September 2006 and it has gone from strength to strength ever since.