I had the good fortune of interviewing Ben Roberts a former apprentice from St Helens who has recently been promoted to Duty Manager at Queens Leisure Centre. I first came across Ben in May 2013 when he had just been employed as an Apprentice straight from school. He had been successful in applying to become a Leisure Assistant.
In 5 short years Ben has progressed from a Leisure assistant to Duty Manager a fantastic achievement by anyone’s standards. When I became aware of Ben’s achievements I decided to go and meet him to find out find how he had such a meteoric rise
- Q) Ben what made you apply for the apprenticeship with St Helens council with Go Active?
- A) I was in the Sixth Form with Sutton Academy when I seen the advert and had always enjoyed going to the leisure centre and had seen the work they done and wanted to join the team.
- Q) What has been the most challenging aspect of joining Go Active?
- A) The progression from school to the working environment, having such a massive change from going from being the person who was looked after, and everything done for you to being responsible for customers.
- Q) What do you like most about working for Go Active?
- A) Having plenty of opportunities to develop and the massive support from Jim Flatley (Centre Manager) and the FLM Training tutors working in partnership. The combination has been beneficial to my development and help me overcome the many obstacles the varying roles presented.
- Q) On a personal level, what have you gained from working with Go-Active?
- A) It was my first job form school and interacting at some many different levels was massive. Form the public through to senior managers, areas that were totally alien to me. Learning and developing my communication skills, how to work in a team and manage myself and others have developed my confidence and ability to perform to a high standard.
- Q) What did you gain most from your training with FLM Training?
- A) I had support from assessors on a weekly basis and at anytime I asked for support it was always forth coming. I was even supported when applying for promotion when the assessors from FLM Training practised and supported me with interview techniques. I learned a lot on the courses both practically but also how to put theory into practice.
- Q) What is your proudest moment since you have been working with Go-Active?
- A) Without doubt being promoted to Duty Manager after only 5 years.
- Q) Would you recommend apprenticeships and upskilling to your colleagues?
- A) Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend the training to anyone from 16 year olds leaving school to experienced staff wanting to up skill and develop further.
- Q) Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
- A) It took me 5 years to get to Duty Manager so I cant see why I cannot progress to senior management level hopefully with Go Active or another large organisation.