During his first week as an apprentice, George Kimberley found that his appetite increased and he was eating more food than usual, something that makes sense in light of him spending a lot more time in the gym. As an apprentice exercise and fitness instructor at Birmingham Metropolitan College, the 17-year-old has been working in the campus gyms for the past six weeks and as a result has boosted his fitness and energy levels.
“My main role is to check that all machines and equipment are in operation,” he explained. “I also make sure that the students working out in the gyms are training in the right way so that they’re not causing themselves any harm. I’m the same age as a lot of the students are, so at first some of them found it a bit strange to be taking advice from me, but they soon got used to me.”
George settled on his apprenticeship after realising his ambition was to pursue a sports-related career. As part of the college’s Sports Directorate, based at the James Watt Campus, Great Barr, he is receiving training and will gain the qualifications needed to become a fitness instructor.
“I went into A levels straight after my GCSEs and after deciding these weren’t for me, got a job in an office, but found I wasn’t enjoying this either,” continued George. “I’ve been swimming for nine years and been a regular gym goer so realised that an apprenticeship would be the best way for me to turn my interest in health and fitness into a long term career.”
“I really enjoy being in the College. I spend four days per week in the gym and then one day in class with other apprentices and learners studying the Instructing Exercise and Fitness Diploma. We learn the theory behind anatomy and physiology and the principles of fitness.”
George is one of five exercise and fitness instructor apprentices currently employed by Birmingham Metropolitan College to work with students, staff and clients in the local area.
“With a growing provision of sports, exercise and fitness courses and following the refurbishment of the gym at our James Watt Campus, we’ve recently introduced these apprenticeships and anticipate them being very popular,” said Lisa Fisher, exercise and fitness programme manager at the college. “George has settled in extremely well into his role and is gaining lots of experience working with cardio equipment, weights and machines. Spending time with a wide variety of learners is also giving him a better understanding of different levels of fitness.”
“This really is a great opportunity,” added George. “I’m finally on the right career path and hope this leads to something long term.”