Joe Williams credits Coachmakers with giving him the drive and direction he needed to focus on a future career.

He’d dropped out of Sixth Form after deciding A Levels weren’t for him and was finding it hard to even get out of bed when a former teacher told him about Coachmakers courses.

Joe, a keen skateboarder, joined Coachmakers’ Level 2 Principles of Coaching Sport Traineeship course and immediately realised the focus on practical work and assessment was more suited to him than exam-based study.

“I really enjoyed getting involved and 'doing' rather than listening or seeing,” he says. “It gave me the sense of focus I’d never had at school. The course covered things like how the body works, the psychology of coaching, sports governing bodies, and we also worked in schools. It was really interesting."

Joe passed his coaching qualification as a skateboarding coach. Although his career path has now taken him away from sports coaching, it was the drive and enthusiasm he rediscovered on the course that helped propel him into a new career.

“I went from not seeing a way forward to having a sense of direction. I got a new sense of determination, and the confidence to know I could succeed,” he said. “I spoke to Shane [Claridge, his Coachmakers tutor] about the next steps and, even though I wasn’t going to stay, he helped me explore my options and find out what I wanted to do.”

Shane explains: "The main aim of the course is for students to be able to deliver coaching sessions with all the transferable skills that entails, such as communication skills, public speaking and group management. All those things instill confidence, which has helped set Joe on a promising new path."

After completing his Coachmakers’ course, Joe beat off fierce competition to be accepted onto an apprenticeship scheme with RBS bank. He went on to win Apprentice of the Year, and is now learning the ropes as an Associate Process Lead with private banking company Coutts.

Joe, now 19, says: “Although I’ve ended up in a completely different area, the Coachmakers course was a crucial part of my journey. I really believe that without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”