Prior to starting his apprenticeship, Aaron served in the Royal Marines for 15 years. When his service ended Aaron briefly worked as a Gym Instructor before realising this wasn’t the career for him, and that he was interested in learning a trade.
Aaron knew he’d need to start at the bottom with his training and heard about the vacancy with Sure Maintenance through a friend. His wife Rachel encouraged him to apply and Aaron’s journey towards a career began.
Before starting his training, Aaron was sceptical about the idea of apprenticeships, worrying that he might be too old. He said “When I decided to do the apprenticeship, I thought I was going to feel uncomfortable in a class of younger students, however, this was completely not the case. There are people of all different ages and walks of life and GC Education and Skills do everything possible to make you feel welcome and comfortable throughout the course.”
Speaking of the support he’s received during his apprenticeship, Aaron said: “The Growth Company Education and Skills always provide support, whether that be a quick telephone call or one to one tutoring on things I’m not sure of. They are always there to help.”
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Aaron sadly found himself furloughed, but this didn’t stop him from working towards the completion of the apprenticeship. Through distance learning, Aaron has been able to work towards – and ultimately complete - his End Point Assessment.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as Aaron has 3 young children at home and like many struggled with fitting online learning around childcare arrangements. He said: “Distance learning at home during the pandemic was quite testing, however, my Skills Development Coach supported me and helped me manage my time better, motivating me to log on and get the work done.”
Skills Development Coach, Stephen Tasker said: “Aaron was sceptical about apprenticeships because of his age but he has been a calming influence on younger learners. He took some learners who were struggling under his wing to encourage them and peer assess them. Unfortunately, Aaron was hospitalised with a serious back injury that affected the first six months of his apprenticeship. However, we supported him throughout and ensured that he could complete his apprenticeship once he was fit and well enough.”
We’re pleased to say that Aaron has now come full circle, and has just started working for the Growth Company as a Gas Engineering tutor at the GM SkillCentre – a role which his tutor encouraged him to apply for after recognising his potential. Aaron went through the recruitment process and was delighted when he was offered the role.
Speaking of his decision to go into teaching, Aaron said: “Having recently completed an Apprenticeship, I feel that I am able to empathise with our apprentices. When they are talking about the challenges that they are facing, I understand and can support them. The staff at the SkillCentre have been so supportive and I can see how passionate they are about what they do. When my former Tutor told me about the vacancy, I knew that this would be the perfect opportunity for me.”
Huge congratulations, Aaron. We know you’ll make a fantastic addition to the Growth Company, and we look forward to watching you shape the next generation of gas engineers.