6 February 2023

This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship is ‘Skills for Life’ – something which rings true with our own apprenticeship programme.

For more than 25 years, we have been providing long-term career opportunities at The Junction, with 25 individuals having completed apprenticeships over the past eight years.

Each person that has embarked on our programme has gained between four and eight qualifications and learned a wealth of transferable skills that can be applied across many different sectors.. These qualifications include Customer Service, Health & Safety, and Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults to name a few.

Many of The Junction’s current employees of The Junction originally started as apprentices with us, before working their way up the ladder to more senior positions. At YMCA Bournemouth, we believe in providing our staff with opportunities to progress and enjoy a rewarding, long-term career.

Nick Gillespie has worked at YMCA Bournemouth’s leisure centre, The Junction for 23 years and is a product of our successful apprenticeship programme. Nick said: “I started my full-time apprenticeship at The Junction when I was 17 years old and over the years, I gained lots of skills and experience to help me climb up the ladder. I was promoted to Duty Manager at the age of 18, and became Centre Manager some years later.

“Now, I’m responsible for the operation and development of the Junction Centre & staff, dealing with the day to day running of the Centre, staff & training, delivering the facilities we offer here, health & safety, and maintenance. It’s testament to the success of YMCA’s apprenticeships that most managers on duty here, like myself, have moved their way up to their present positions.

“While specialist skills are crucial to learn for certain roles, the transferable skills we teach at YMCA Bournemouth are incredibly important as they can be applied across many different disciplines and, in particular, help those who may not yet know what their long-term career will be. Transferable skills can act as a gateway to helping someone ‘carve their niche’, so should be a core focus in apprenticeship schemes.

“Our apprenticeship offering provides individuals with a great variety of experience, and you get a real sense of achievement from working alongside a charity. You can meet lots of different people and get involved with various initiatives. It’s rewarding to know that you’re having an impact on the community by helping to improve people’s lives and contributing to their wellbeing.”

To find out more about YMCA Bournemouth’s apprenticeships, visit: https://www.ymcabournemouth.org.uk/