Apprentice of the Year - Phillip Start

28 February 2017

Philip left sixth form with the desire to pursue a career in the fitness industry and worked his way through some tough obstacles to become a fitness instructor. Leaving sixth form with Btec qualifications, Philip knew that university was not for him – he believed the apprenticeship route was a lot more practical and efficient at attaining the qualities and knowledge he needed to successfully becoming a fitness instructor.

Philip enrolled onto a YMCA Fit Level 2 Gym Instructor Apprenticeship in September 2015 and completed in September 2016 where he simultaneously worked as an apprentice Fitness Instructor at Abbeycroft Leisure, Suffolk.

Philip’s apprenticeship journey, however, was anything but easy. Some months into not only juggling studying, coursework deadlines, and working, Philip was unfortunately kicked out from his family home.  This resulted in Philip living in a youth hostel for the rest of his time studying and working, which was an unfortunate situation – Philip, however, was determined that his situation would not prevent him from his goal: “this made it harder to concentrate on coursework and revision, so everything was quite stressful, but I chose to remain calm.”

"Phil is always positive, happy and focused on being the best he can be and I am extremely proud of him for being awarded Apprentice of the Year 2017”
Kevin James, Philip’s Apprenticeship Tutor, YMCA Training

Due to his passion and dedication to create better relationships between staff and clients that he portrayed so clearly, as an apprentice, Abbeycroft Leisure offered Philip full time employment. Philip is now a full time Gym Instructor who interacts with clients, delivers classes/group sessions, and helps people achieve their personal fitness goals. “I feel like I’m very well-liked by clients – they always want to come and have a chat with me, which I love!”

Philip’s apprenticeship journey however did not end with the success of becoming a full time Gym Instructor with a permanent contract. Once he completed his Level 2 Apprenticeship with YMCA Fit, which he had passed with fantastic grades, Philip decided to enrol onto a YMCA Fit Level 3 Personal Training Course, which he is still in the process of completing. Furthermore, progressing from an apprentice to a full time employee, Philip’s living situation improved – Philip eventually moved out of the youth hostel and is now living in a flat.