Joining a Coachmakers course was a turning point in Jake Flannigan’s life which took him from being “clueless” about his future career to working towards being a fully-qualified fitness instructor.

Jake was resigned to upping his hours at a local takeaway at the end of his college course, but a meeting with Natasha (Tash) Mills, Head of Coachmakers, opened his eyes to another path.

He said: “Tash told me about Coachmakers’ Coaching and Fitness courses, and said because I’d done sport at college, I could take my Level 2 and Level 3 at the same time.

“She said if I knuckled down, the course would really be worth my while. I remember realising straight away that this was turning point, and I would have to give it my all and work damned hard.”

An extra attraction for Jake was that Coachmakers courses are funded, as education programmes run in partnership with local businesses, so students don’t have to get into debt to take them. Also, he was keen to get into the workplace and the Coachmakers courses offer the hands-on experience he craved.

“It sounded like a course I’d enjoy doing, and I thought it would give me extra experience and skills to fall back on, no matter what happened,” he said.

Jake took the Level 2 Certificate in Principles and Preparations for Coaching Sport and Level 2 Award in Multi-Skills Development in Sport, which allowed him to deliver a range of activities to young people in different settings. The Level 3 Certificate in Physical Education and Supporting School Sport focused on coaching within schools.

He said: “I enjoyed actually going into schools and putting the theory into practice, and with the Level 3, I learned more about psychology, discipline and safeguarding issues.

“Both courses taught me a lot of useful skills and made me realise I could cope with responsibility of leading PE sessions. That really helped my confidence.”

As a result of the courses, Jake was referred by Coachmakers to sports provider Go Active to help deliver PE sessions and after-school clubs at a local primary school. He was also offered work experience at the SportsHub, a local leisure centre in Newquay, which led to him taking a Level 2 Gym Instructors’ programme. All the coaching courses last for nine months.

Jake, 20, is now employed by the SportsHub and working towards a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Personal Training, a one-year course for which Coachmakers provide the education element.

He said: “I’m having an amazing time – I couldn’t ask for better. Tash has lots of contacts in the local sports and fitness industry and is great at getting you to do a CV and sending it off to people.

“When I was in college, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to go to uni as I didn’t see the point of wasting my money on something I wasn’t enthusiastic about. Now I’m working towards being a fully-qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer, which is exciting.

“If it wasn’t for Coachmakers, I really don’t know where I’d be right now.”