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Charlotte Lynch, 18, is studying an Apprenticeship in Spa Therapy at City College Plymouth. Working four days in the College’s onsite salon, STARS, attending lectures one day a week and working in another salon on Saturdays, Charlotte is fully committed to her studies. With her dream to work in the Lush Spa in London, Charlotte is on the right path getting hands-on experience and high-quality training.
“I decided that university wasn’t for me as it is a big financial commitment and one I didn’t want to jump into without knowing exactly what I wanted to do,” said Charlotte. “After deciding to leave school, I knew I had to get a job, but I wanted to continue learning. I found out about Apprenticeships and it seemed like the perfect solution.
“I’ve found the experience of learning on the go really effective. From day one you hit the ground running, working with actual clients and learning on the job. It is a constant learning curve; I am gaining new skills every day both professionally and personally.
“STARS is an incredibly supportive environment – everyone is there to help each other. I’m not treated as a student and I feel equal; my colleagues value my opinion and experience. When I had trouble with travel arrangements, they altered my hours in the salon to work around my trains, which was fantastic.
“The lecturers have all kinds of real working experience so can support and advise you on pretty much anything. They also always keep up-to-date with new skills and trends in this ever-changing industry, so the teaching is always fresh.
“I can take what I learn in the class room and practice it in STARS and vice versa. I also advise others just starting out on the course or young people thinking about coming to the College.
“Apprenticeships make the industry more accessible and the College offers many great opportunities to interact with employers. I have been lucky enough to work with several companies – whose products we use in STARS – on placement. Getting to work within the industry broadens your contacts and having these connections will more than likely lead to a job after I qualify.
“This apprenticeship has opened a lot of doors for me. No matter what I do I will always have a trade to fall back on. I can go out into the world of work knowing I am fully qualified and have the necessary skills to start my career.”