LSSP celebrates apprentices during #NationalApprenticeshipWeek

With National Apprenticeship Week in full swing, we speak to Liverpool School Sports Partnership (LSSP) about its successful apprenticeship programme.

Claire Povlotsky, LSSP apprentice tutor explains: “Apprenticeships are a mix of learning at work and off-the-job learning. The employer pays the apprentice a wage and the government pays for the majority of the training.

“At LSSP, we currently offer the L2 community activators coach (CAC) standard and the L3 teaching assistant (TA), general standard or specialising in PE. Learners need to be 16 years of age and over, and enjoy working with children, physical activity and sport, have an interest in education, be self-motivated, enjoy working as part of a team and have a willingness to learn.

Claire adds: “They could already be employed by their employer or school and in need of training or schools could appoint a new member of staff. We have learners who go onto many different jobs and careers afterwards including coaching, teaching assistants, or go to college or university to study further qualifications including training to teach. We even had one learner who is now studying to be a maths teacher, inspired by her work in school!”

Here’s what some of LSSP’s apprentices had to say:

Daniel Shields, from Liverpool, is currently in his first year apprenticeship at St Hugh’s Catholic Primary School studying for a Level 2 Community Activator.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I feel like by getting the experience of doing the job helps me as I am learning while I am on the job and this is a good thing as it will only help and develop me to become better at what I am doing.

What are the benefits of completing an apprenticeship?
The benefits of doing an apprenticeship is whilst you are doing the job, you get qualifications and you get paid. You also get to make more connections and meet more people who can help you. So far during my apprenticeship, I have learnt that not every day is the same and you are always learning something new. One day you could be in a classroom all day, then the next day you could be supporting PE all day and then the day after you could be doing a mix of both. I am really enjoying my apprenticeship and I just want to keep on working hard to ensure I give the best version of myself to my school.

How you think you are making a difference to children and young people?
I think I am making a difference to children and young people’s activity levels by doing games with them at break and lunch time. This ensures that they are keeping physically active but having fun while doing it too. I feel like I am making a difference in my school as I try to help all the children as best as I possibly can, not just in a PE lessons, but across all the subjects I help out with.

Courtney-Sky Mcdowell is currently a first year apprentice at St Joseph’s primary school in Preston studying the Level 2 Community Coach Activator Standard.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
As much as I enjoyed learning in school, I’ve always preferred a hands on approach. For a long time, I wanted to become a teacher and after finding this apprenticeship I thought this was the perfect way to start my journey. The apprenticeship I have chosen means I get to learn and have experience of working with children and other members of staff in a school environment.

What are the next steps in your career?
I am not too sure what my next steps are, but my aim is to become a teacher. I think my aim will be to go to university and follow my heart to become a fully qualified teacher.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to anyone considering it?
Yes I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who likes to learn on the job. It gives you an experience of working life and allows you to learn different skills. Another benefit to apprenticeships are you are also able to earn a wage whilst improving your skills.

Luke McQuaide-Johnson, from Liverpool, is a third year apprentice currently studying the Level 3 Teaching Assistant.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I chose an apprenticeship because I get the opportunity to gain different qualifications whilst having a job. It is a great way to learn new skills that I didn’t know about or ones that I could develop.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to anyone considering
Yes, I would recommend this apprenticeship to anyone who is interested in teaching/coaching children of all ages. You get lots of experience by doing new things that you wouldn’t usually do until I joined LSSP. They are an amazing company who bring lots of opportunities not just to the apprentices but to the children across Liverpool. Children are being given lots of chances to explore their abilities/skills in competitions such as the indoor athletics tournaments and football comps across Merseyside. I am proud to be a part of my school at BSCP and do my apprenticeship with LSSP.

Abbie McKay is a second year apprentice currently studying for a Level 3 Teaching Assistant Standard at Broadsquare Primary School in Liverpool.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left college until a girl from my football team got in my Dad’s taxi and told him about the apprenticeship! It was right up my street as I have always wanted to be a Coach / PE Teacher so this was a great time to get the experience and the knowledge.

How you think you are making a difference to children and young people?
I think I am making a difference to the children and young people’s activity levels because I am able to motivate people around me. I try to be a role model for lots of young people who look up to me. I also coach outside of work, volunteering in a local boxing gym. In work, I am always putting a smile of people’s faces and people really engage with the things I say.

For many schools and employers, the benefits are endless when it comes to employing an apprentice.

Vicky Corbett, headteacher at Broadsquare Primary School said: “Our apprentice has provided additional capacity to our PE team and the PE offer to our children. She has worked with our PE lead and LSSP coach to enthuse the children both in school lessons and as part of extra-curricular activities. Had it not been for COVID, our apprentice would have provided us with much more capacity over lunchtimes and after school this year, now that she is more confident with children across the school.

Speaking about whether she would recommend an apprentice to another school, Vicky Corbett, said: “I think it is worthwhile for the staff and the apprentice alike. I feel a responsibility to our apprentice in the wider view of education – I feel that it is our duty to train and produce excellent practitioners that will continue to make a difference to children’s lives for many years ahead.”

Paul Gow, head of PE at St Francis de Sale Primary School, said: “I would definitely recommend an apprentice to another school. Our apprentice has been outstanding and a credit to the hard work that LSSP are putting into the apprenticeship programme in order to get them ready for working in a school environment.

Sam Berry, a PE teacher at The Academy of St Nicholas, said: “The benefits of having a physical activity apprentice has been watching them develop into a confident individuals who is willing to support the younger generation. Overall the apprentice allows us to work with the students to demonstrate further progress and challenge students throughout lessons also. This has been a huge help when differentiating lessons in practical and theory, as they work extremely well with students as they build relationships and support each student in many ways. Our apprentice also supports in extra- curricular activities supporting groups of students who are wanting to excel in sport and even attempt a new activity, opening doors of opportunity to all our students.”

Vicky Marshall, strategic lead for apprenticeship at LSSP says: ““The numbers of apprentices we now have in schools across Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire is steadily increasing which is great for not only the apprentices who are gaining valuable employability and life skills but for the children and young people they work with.

“At LSSP we are passionate about the role physical activity can play in our children and young people’s lives especially now in recovery from COVID where children need to be happy, move more and connect with each other. So what is better than schools using the apprenticeship programme which not only gives them additional man power to provide physical activity sessions during the school week but helps the next generation onto the career ladder too.”

To find out more about the LSSP apprenticeship programme, the services we provide or the work of the LSSP Foundation, please email visit or @Liverpool_SSP on Twitter and Instagram.

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