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Meet March’s Apprentice of the Month

Meet March’s Apprentice of the Month

We travelled a little bit further this month to present our Apprentice of the Month award, obviously we cover all of Kent but this time we went right to the edge, you guessed it, we went to Dover. Barton Junior School to be precise, to meet Liam Uden and Principal David Meades to present Liam with his award.

Despite being a Monday morning the school was a hive of activity with lots of smiling faces that of the students and teachers alike. Liam is undertaking an apprenticeship in ‘Supporting Teaching and Learning’ at a Level 2 and hopes to continue on to his Level 3 soon.

Speaking to Liam I asked him what made him think of taking an apprenticeship. “I wanted to be in education and I wanted to learn more and gain more qualifications so I decided to look at apprenticeships”.

In a slightly different story to the ‘norm’ Liam didn’t apply through our website in the usual manner. Liam had a number of younger siblings in the school and so approached David Meades to ask about the possibility of undertaking an apprenticeship with the school. He had sourced information on various providers and it was David that decided to give us a call and the rest is history.

When I asked Liam what the favourite part of his day is he told me “every day is different, I come in not knowing what to expect, everything had different challenges”. Liam spends different days of the week working with different classes, teachers and pupils from years 3 to 6. When I asked him if he had a favourite year to work with he hesitated, not wanting to offend but said that he prefers year 4 due to the students and staff he gets to work with.

Speaking about apprenticeships Liam wanted to make sure that other people saw their value, “I would recommend them do it [an apprenticeship], if they know what they want to do and they don’t have the qualification or training to get to where they want to be it’s the best way”.

Principal David couldn’t sing Liam’s praises enough and was so proud of him for winning the award. When I asked if he had had any expectations prior to undergoing the process David expressed that he didn’t have expectations of the process as such but on the person. “Being a school, education is life long and it is a case of we knew someone who wanted to better themselves who saw their future in teaching and it’s how we could support them to make that a reality”.

“Having an apprentice has definitely helped the school but of course that’s because of Liam, he’s been brilliant. His enthusiasm, keenness to learn and willingness to undertake new things even outside of his comfort zone are fantastic.

“I think having an apprentice has been very much a two way thing. Liam has had to make that move from school as a student to school as an adult. You are there in a very professional, different role and I think he has become more and more valued by members of staff while he has been here.

“One of the main reasons I nominated Liam was his enthusiasm, when we have been short staffed Liam has always stepped up, he accompanied children to the O2, he does afterschool clubs and the walking bus. He wants to better himself constantly. Not only that but he has more bow ties than any man I have or will ever know.”

To round off Liam wanted to say “I’ve learnt so much and I don’t know what I would be doing now if I wasn’t here”.

It was fantastic to meet an apprentice and employer that are both so thrilled with the process of an apprenticeship. It’s really benefited the school, it’s staff, pupils and parents and is a fantastic environment for Liam to continue his qualifications and head towards a career as a primary school teacher.

Congratulations Liam and Barton Junior School, a very deserving winner!

Do you want your apprentice to be recognised for all of their hard work? Nominate them today!