Case studies

YMCA Apprentices celebrated at House of Commons

On Monday, March 2, 2015, members from across Central YMCA gathered with over 100 employers and VIPs at the House of Commons to celebrate the outstanding achievements of YMCA apprentices. The event was also the occasion to launch the YMCA Manifesto 2015, the Pathways into employment Manifesto and Two Futures Report. It was also a moment to celebrate the keeping of Central YMCA’s pledge to complete 2,014 apprenticeships during 2014.

Guest speakers at this high-profile event included the Conservative’s Caroline Nokes MP and Graham Stuart MP, Labour’s Adrian Bailey MP, the Liberal Democrat’s John Thurso, and Rosi Prescott, CEO of Central YMCA. Guests were also treated to inspirational stories from the winners of the Apprentice of the Year Awards, and other young people whose lives had been transformed by YMCA Apprenticeships.

YMCA Training Award “Apprentice of the year 2014”


Matthew came to Worsley Golf Club in April 2013 for an Interview with a view to obtaining a trainee position as a greenkeeper. Nigel Smith, our course manager, was impressed by his enthusiasm and drive during the initial interview and offered Matthew the position of trainee greenkeeper for a five-month period. During this time, Matthew proved to be a model employee. His timekeeping was immaculate. Despite early starts at 5:30 a.m. he was always first on site. His ability to absorb information and put theoretical principles into practice was unrivalled. He demonstrated a drive to learn, practice and succeed, both on the course and academically. He had already completed his NVQ Level 1 in horticulture, and was well on his way to success with his NVQ Level 2. Matthew’s outstanding attributes convinced us to offer him an apprenticeship after completion of his five-month traineeship. At the time, he was 12 months into his 20-month apprenticeship and his level of commitment had been consistent throughout. He was now carrying out quite complex and critical tasks independently. Nigel, his supervisor commented, “If Matthew sees something that needs doing, he does it on his own initiative, whatever it takes. Matthew continues to surprise me with his ability, drive and enthusiasm for his work. It has not been easy for him to work at the level he has been asked, but he has more than met the challenge. He is a pleasure to have on my team."

YMCA Training Award "Achiever of the Year 2014"


“Shellyanne deserves to win. She has overcome a most difficult start in life. She made an adult decision as a child to run away from Scotland to Leeds because she knew that if she stayed with her parents, she would never survive or get the chance to follow her dream to work with children.

She is the most caring and lovely girl we have met in a very long time and every single member of staff here in Leeds hopes and believes she should win. Shelleyanne gets up at 5 a.m. to get the bus to her placement which starts at 7:30 a.m. and she never complains about it. She volunteers at The South Leeds HUB on most nights, and she has now started volunteering at a Youth Club one night a week. She has no family here in Leeds, so she surrounds herself with people who can help her. She once told us in the early days when she was on Study Programme, that YMCA was the reason she got up every day – it's place where she found people to talk to and help her. Shellyanne deserves this nomination and so much more."

YMCA Training Award "Progression"


“Matthew has experienced an extremely problematic and traumatic start to his life without the love and support of a family. Despite his problems in social care, he has overcome his personal barriers and obstacles. He has proved himself to be a true inspiration and role model for other children experiencing problems within the social care system. By believing in himself, and by realising his strengths and abilities, Matthew has successfully used his personal challenges in life to his advantage, and as a result, Matthew has now developed a promising future career working with children."

YMCA Training Award “Small to Medium employer of the year 2014”

Folkestone Leisure Centre

“Josh was our first apprentice, taking a qualification in leisure management. Josh then became involved in the recruitment of future apprentices, becoming mentor to the junior apprentices throughout. Josh is now employed full-time within theTrust, and he has subsequently employed Chris as part of his Outreach Team.”

Both Josh and Chris are great role models for other young people by showing how an interest in sport and wellbeing can lead to a career. During and after their apprenticeship, they both undertook further sports instructor qualifications, enabling them to be fully employed by the Trust. Both are now undertaking sports instructor work for other providers in the community. The apprenticeship has enabled them to grow into confident young men, boosted their self-esteem, and enabled them to talk to other young people about the opportunities available for them.

Josh also supports a community partnership project, which the Trust hosts, mentoring young people at risk of offending.


YMCA Training Award “Large employer of the year 2014”

ERS Medical

ERS Medical is one of the fastest growing specialist healthcare providers in the country, and one of largest private ambulance providers in the UK, working with NHS Trusts, Ambulance Trusts and Private Sector Healthcare. YMCA Training has partnered with ERS Medical to offer a nationwide scheme working with apprentices to offer career-boosting training programmes and apprenticeships that result in a successful future for participants. ERS Medical invests over £1,800 per operational apprentice for each candidate to undertake a First Person on Scene (FPOS) training and a professional D1 driver training course as part of their training and development. Apprentices are looked after by their mentors to help them to better understand any challenges their role may present. ERS Medical’s apprentices are also given study holidays to help them prepare for their NVQ qualifications. Some of the more demanding roles have a pay a wage that is higher than the national minimum apprentice wage. The ERS Medical apprenticeship scheme has grown from administration roles to include a broad range of operational and office-based roles in departmental functions including: bids, training, accounts, contact centre, and field operations (ambulance and patient transport).