Michaela joined City Gateway as a learner in June 2022. She had applied for a Business Administration apprenticeship role through National Apprenticeship website, and she was looking to build her confidence and start a career in project management.

“I dropped out of my A-levels just before my exams because I wasn’t happy. My mum had died only a couple of years ago and I didn’t enjoy living with my dad in a 1-bedroom apartment. It was very demotivating at the time, and it took a toll on my mental health. I wanted to pursue something that would make me happy and confident.”

“I looked into other training providers, but I chose City Gateway because it looked like they genuinely cared about their learners. I really liked their person-centred approach and I got personalised support from my tutor. I had never written a CV or cover letter before, so the guidance I was given was game-changing. My tutor helped me with my applications to apprenticeship opportunities including one at City Gateway.”

Michaela joined City Gateway as a Business Administration apprentice in August 2022. “At the time, I had another offer from an organisation that was based next to my home, but I chose City Gateway even though it takes 90-mins one-way to get there because I aligned more with their values, and I felt happy in taking on a paid apprenticeship opportunity while supporting other young people just like me.”

Michaela completed her Business Administration apprenticeship with distinction and ahead of her expected completion date. “I received a lot of hands-on experience with a plethora of opportunities to learn from staff. As an apprentice, I felt I was supported very well in the workplace and my line manager, Kay, gave me a lot of opportunities to hone my skills. I was able to build my confidence, learn project management skills and be part of a workplace whilst completing my Business Administration apprenticeship qualification. My assessor, Eugenie, who is also a Mental Health First Aider, helped me a lot with my mental health. She really motivated me to keep up with my therapy sessions and helped me overcome my barriers.”

“As an apprentice, I was able to access student discounts, the breakfast club and the food bank. I was able to apply for discounted travel and I received a wage, which helped me save money and become independent. I really appreciate the positive and fulfilling environment City Gateway gave me where I could thrive and be happy.”

In December 2023, Michaela Howes joined City Gateway as our new Finance Assistant. “Not only was I able to complete my Business Administration apprentice qualification, but I was also able to earn, save and move out of my dad’s house. Now, I am living my own life the way I want. I am happy and I am supporting myself financially and living my life as the strong, confident and independent woman that I always dreamt to be.”

“I highly recommend City Gateway. They gave me a safe space and they did this not just for me but for so many others like me. I know a lot of learners who come to City Gateway, who have faced similar challenges. Some, who have been homeless, some who have struggled with drug and alcohol use, others who have been deeply in debt, and some who are single parents and don’t know where to turn for help. While we have all had different challenges in our past, there is one thing that we have all had in common – we have been in a place where we didn’t know where to turn, until we came to City Gateway.”

If you are 16 to 18 years old and looking for a study programme that offers more than just academic support, City Gateway is the perfect place for you to turn your aspirations into reality.

Click here to apply today.