Leah Pritchard joined GC Education & Skills in October 2017, with a clear aim of upgrading her maths qualification. Leah needed maths if she was to pursue her passion of becoming a professional job groomer. However, she also enrolled onto the employability and retail qualifications, as she realised the transferable knowledge she would gain from these would be useful in the future.

In the first couple of weeks, Leah’s attendance was a little erratic - however once she made friends, she rapidly settled into the programme. As a result, a work placement was secured at Furry Tails dog groomers in Newton-le-Willows.

Owner of Furry Tails, Kirsty Holden, has nothing but praise for Leah. She said: “Leah’s dedication, enthusiasm and her willingness to learn and develop has been outstanding. Because of the former, she was awarded the work experience student of the month award back in March.”

And it’s not just her manager who Leah has been impressing – she’s also received some excellent feedback from her maths tutor, Hazel Spencer: “Leah was a lovely young lady who was terrified of maths when she first came to us but by making her believe in her own ability and working closely with her, she managed to complete her level 1 functional skills in maths.”

Over the last few months Leah has successfully passed both the employability and retail qualifications, and is also on target for passing her functional skills in maths.

Speaking of her journey so far, Leah said: “Being given the opportunity to work in the industry I have thought about for the last couple of years has reinforced this is the right career path for me.”

“I have friends who are also with GC Education & Skills who are also currently at work placements in hair and beauty, retail and childcare. We are all making the most of the skills and knowledge we are learning."

All the staff at the St. Helens training centre are certain that Leah will achieve her aims, fulfil her potential and turn her dreams into reality.