Ignite Sport > News and Blogs > Quality training is a key piece in the apprenticeship jigsaw

An apprenticeship grants people the confidence and skills required to help them progress, thrive and become a leader within their team.  

In return, employers grow their workforce with people who have established the right skills, knowledge and behaviours tailored to their business.  

Sport4Kids has a vision to revolutionise children’s sport via its holiday camps and education programmes and by working in schools and nurseries. It does this by employing quality and experienced coaches, many of whom are former apprentices who have been offered full-time work at the conclusion of their apprenticeship.

Maxine Ingram is Sport4Kids’ Head of Education and Recruitment. She understands the value of a quality apprenticeship and the impact it can have on a person’s ability to fulfil a successful career.  

We spoke to Maxine to learn more about how Ignite Sport UK’s external apprenticeship training service helps Sport4Kids develop young coaches via paid, on-the-job, learning. 

Apprenticeship training 

Based in Bagshot, Surrey, but operating nationally, Sport4Kids is a sports coaching company that uses Ignite Sport UK as its training provider for apprentices.  

This means Ignite works with people on a national scale either in-person or via Zoom to provide the required training and study related to the apprentice’s role.  

As a Register of Apprenticeship Training Provider (RoATP) organisation, Ignite Sport UK can find an apprentice suitable for your business and provide bespoke training and ongoing support.  

Training provider  

The law states at least 20% of an apprentice’s normal working hours must be dedicated to study.  

This applies to all apprenticeships in all sectors and at every level – from Intermediate Level 2 to Degree Levels 6 and 7.  

Delivering training is the responsibility of the employer.  

“The apprentices we employ are based all over the UK,” said Maxine. “Therefore, we require a trusted and quality training provider which is why all our sports-based apprentices are tutored by Ignite Sport UK.  

“Ignite are responsible for enrolling apprentices onto the relevant programme and supporting them through their apprenticeship in terms of coursework and written work.  

“They’re a friendly team and we are pleased to have built such a great connection with a firm that values apprenticeships so highly.”  

Why an apprenticeship?  

Employing an apprentice benefits organisations in many ways.  

Not only do apprenticeships act as a cost-effective staffing solution, but they also help grow your company’s team and bring in new skills and energy.  

In Sport4Kids’ example, they look towards the future.  

“We operate what we call the ‘Sport4Kids Way’,” said Maxine. “We like all our coaches to follow the same pathway so they are trained to the level we want and can deliver programmes just like our coaches do.  

“Sport4Kids is growing, and we need to hire apprentices so future employees can be suitably trained via paid on-the-job learning. Generally, we will employ as many apprentices as we are prepared to offer full-time roles too by time apprenticeships end.  

“Being able to mould people into how we deliver programmes and having a fresh face with new ideas in the company is an excellent asset. Apprentices have proven again and again to us that they are keen to learn and full of bright ideas.”  

Anyone aged 16 or over who lives in the UK and is not in full-time education can apply to start an apprenticeship.  

Excellent communication  

Most Sport4Kids apprentices will work closely with Ignite Sport UK Lead Tutor Leigh Tomlinson during their apprenticeship.  

Leigh has been Lead Tutor at Ignite for over nine years and has 15 years’ experience working in the assessment, development and apprenticeship sectors. Before that, he was a football coach.  

Part of Leigh’s job is to engage with Sport4Kids regularly to ensure apprentices experience a smooth, enjoyable and beneficial earning and learning period.  

Maxine added: “Ignite Sport UK are brilliant communicators. Leigh is particularly helpful when we need support, he is very knowledgeable in the apprenticeship sector.  

“If we are ever unsure about anything, Leigh is quick to jump in and help so we understand all aspects of apprenticeship delivery. They’re much more than a training provider in that respect.”  

The academic cycle  

So, a new academic year with fresh targets and limitless opportunities awaits.  

Sport4Kids apprentices have ended their summer camp responsibilities and begin coaching in schools and nurseries this week. 

“This is always a busy time of year,” said Maxine. “The camp season ends and before you know it, we’re back working in schools delivering PE lessons, wrap around care plus lunch and breakfast clubs.  

“These different stages of the year provide apprentices with an excellent understanding of what working for Sport4Kids is like while gaining an industry recognised qualification.”  

If you are interested in recruiting an apprentice, visit Sports Apprenticeships | Ignite Sport (ignitesportuk.com) where further information about Ignite Sport UK’s sports-based apprenticeships is available.   

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