Hallum Collier left school aged 16 and joined the army, but soon realised his ultimate ambition was to become a PE teacher. Knowing that he would need to get a degree, but lacking qualifications and experience to apply, he didn’t know where to start. Coachmakers proved to be his salvation.

Through the programme, Hallum began an apprenticeship with I.G. Sports Coaching, gaining his Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Activity Leadership and benefiting from work-based placements delivering sport and physical activity in primary schools.

Hallum decided to further his study with Coachmakers into a second year, progressing to a Level 3 qualification so he could ‘earn and learn’ and complete the necessary qualifications to get to university. He achieved an Advanced Apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Physical Education and School Sport.

These two crucial years of study and on-the-job learning meant Hallum was qualified to apply to university to do his teaching degree.

Four universities made him an offer and, now aged 20, he is in his first year of a three-year course at Winchester University, and plans to follow it with a one-year teaching qualification.

“Coachmakers has not only been my route to university but I found the courses really interesting and enjoyable, too,” he said.

“The tutors had all worked in sport and had a lot of experience to share. They were also very supportive and I knew that I could pick up the phone or email them if I needed advice. For someone like me coming back to education, that’s useful to know.”

Hallum only realised that his dream of becoming a teacher was possible after speaking to his Coachmakers tutor, Shane Claridge. That made the decision to stay on for a second year and study for his Level 3 qualification an easy one.

“When Shane told me a Level 3 qualification could potentially get me into a university, that clinched it for me,” he says. “It was hard work at times, but definitely worthwhile as I learned a lot from it.”

Since starting at university, Hallum has found the coaching experience he already has under his belt through Coachmakers has proven a big advantage: “Some of the students I’m with haven’t coached before so I feel as though my solid foundation has given me an advantage and helped boost my confidence,” he says. “For me, Coachmakers has definitely been the leg up I needed.”

Hallum’s journey to achieving his dream highlights the important role apprenticeships can play as a route into higher education, and the advantage that on-the-job learning can give learners once they get there.