Willis’s story – School and vocational training working together

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Willis was part of the recent intake of year 10 students at Barnardo’s Palmersville. He spent his first 6 weeks at the centre trying three different vocational areas, which he thought he would enjoy, before choosing to specialise in painting and decorating. Throughout his time in year 11, Willis attended Palmersville one day a week to learn skills and techniques, which culminated in him achieving a Level 1 qualification.

Instead of leaving school at the end of Year 11, Willis chose to complete his Level 3 Certificate of Personal Effectiveness in school whilst attending Palmersville three days a week as part of the shared learning programme. During this time, Willis made fantastic progress and gained Level 2 in both English and Maths and also a Level 2 Diploma in Painting and Decorating.  

Upon leaving school, Willis enrolled onto an ESF-funded short programme at Palmersville’s with the intention of exploring a longer more in-depth programme to progress onto. He then went one step further and moved into an apprenticeship with a local painting and decorating firm, which he secured with the support of the team at Palmersville. He is doing extremely well in both the practical and theory elements of his course.