A sports fanatic, who is on a sport and leisure apprenticeship with North Tyneside Council, has said that securing the position has ‘kept him off the streets’.

Shaun Story, 17, a former pupil of Norham High School, said that the apprenticeship he secured at the Lakeside Centre, Killingworth,  thanks to the council’s partnership with Tyne Metropolitan College has been the positive driving force he needed to begin a career in sport and leisure.

Shaun, who is studying an apprenticeship in Sport and Leisure, said: “I was very lucky at High School to receive lots of careers guidance and support, particularly from my Connexions’ Adviser, and I’ve always loved sport so knew this was the direction I wanted to go in, but it still took me a while to really step up to the challenge.

“I initially started on apprenticeships in Bricklaying and Library Services, but I soon released these weren’t for me and my passion for sport was one I wanted to pursue. Tyne Metropolitan College and North Tyneside Council  have been so supportive throughout the whole apprenticeship application process – securing my sports and leisure apprenticeship has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Before I started the apprenticeship I was still hanging about the streets and although I’d enjoyed school and they were really supportive it took me some time to grow up.”

Shaun’s apprenticeship will see him gain a number of skills including customer service, something he is very much enjoying.

Shaun added, “My apprenticeship has been brilliant, I’ve learnt so much and I relish learning something new every day. I particularly enjoy assisting with the class, ‘rebound therapy’ which is a fitness class for customers with disabilities – it’s really challenging but rewarding. My work placement officer Nick is a Sports Trainer from TyneMet’s and he has been great. Alongside on the job experience I’m getting a credible qualification from the College and I hope to start some additional courses at TyneMet including fitness instruction and lifeguarding through North Tyneside Council Sport and Leisure Service.”

Assistant Manager at Lakeside Leisure Centre, Claire Tennant, said: “Shaun is a great asset to the team – he constantly demonstrates a real enthusiasm for the sport and leisure industry. He’s also brilliant with the customers and from the day Shaun started his apprenticeship I have seen nothing but an incredible commitment and determination from him to succeed. I’m very impressed with Shaun.  Working with Tyne Metropolitan College to fill our apprenticeships has been a very positive process. Apprentices learn the skills they need for the job market and gain a great qualification that is nationally recognised in the industry.”

 Sports Trainer at Tyne Metropolitan College, Nick Probett, said: “I’m delighted with Shaun’s progress – it’s very satisfying to see an apprentice really get stuck in and truly enjoy the experience. Shaun is a hard worker and I know he will go far. The College works hard to tailor the right candidate to the right apprenticeship vacancy. At TyneMet we have a longstanding success rate of working with many local and national employers to fulfil the requirements of many sectors, including the sport and leisure industry.”

The College works with hundreds of small and large organisations to deliver cost effective training solutions across Newcastle, the North East and the UK with an extensive range of short and long courses. All of these training courses can be adapted to meet the specific needs of a particular group or department within the business, or to focus upon a specific issue in order to reach operational objectives by linking training directly to the company's strategy.

Head of Apprenticeships at Tyne Metropolitan College, Pat Blyth, said: “At TyneMet, we are part of an apprenticeship revolution - we understand the importance of matching an individual's skills and interests to the needs of employers. The College continues to make strategic advances to proactively establish strong relationships with employers, with the aim of developing a highly trained workforce who benefit from relevant and quality qualifications in industry related fields.”

 To find out more about cost effective training solutions, call 0191 229 5179, email business@tynemet.ac.uk or visit our dedicated employers’ website: employers.tynemet.ac.uk