Inspiring Stories

We hear so many amazing stories. Here are just a few:


“Everyone has been really helpful & I really enjoyed my course. It was a good atmosphere. I got all the help & advice I needed & got to meet lots of different people”. – Bookkeeping Learner

“A learner has found a job at a local shop. He had only been attending the job club for three weeks!” – Job Club Learner

“Experience made me feel motivated, relaxed and stress free. The tutor was amazing and very talented. Service is invaluable especially for depression, must continue!” – Mixed Media Learner

“It met my expectation completely. The tutor was brilliant.” – Train-&-Grow Learner

Theresa Craven

Dorset Resident Wins Inspirational Festival of Learning Award

Theresa Craven from Dorset, has won a South West England Tutor of the Year award by Learning & Work Institute for her outstanding achievement in adult learning and contribution to her local community. The Festival of Learning Awards showcase and celebrate the wonderful things that learning can achieve for individuals, families, communities and employers. Read Theresa’s full story here.

Suzy Davies

Paddington Bear Animator Takes an Interest In “Snugs The Snow Bear”

“Snugs the Snow Bear” is beginning to capture the hearts of people in America, and indeed folk all over the world. But, here is a surprise for you, since Snugs is a bear full of secrets and surprises!

I was given courage to go ahead and write even more books to the series than I had originally planned to do, when Sheila Graber, world-famous animator of the original Paddington, and animator of Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” discussed with me the possibility of animating my book, and supported me with her wonderful generous comments. Through email and telephone conversations, she helped me, an unknown writer, have faith in my artistic integrity and ability. Sheila complimented me on the activities of my characters!

People who have followed me will know that I also have another series planned, “Florida Critters” a series of short stories about the animals I meet here in Florida, at home, and on my travels. I shared some of these stories with Sheila, and she seemed to admire the “gentle humour” in them.

So why did Sheila Graber take an interest in my work? Well just read “Snugs The Snow Bear,” and find out!

Christina Martin

Beauty Learner

Christina Martin (Tina) lives locally to Skills & Learning’s Oakdale Centre and one day decided to walk into our centre to enquire about our courses. Tina enrolled on our Beauty Specialist Level 2 Diploma course and our Nail Technology Level 2 course and begun her journey into the world of beauty, which changed her life for the better. Read her full story here.


Supporting Teaching & Learning Learner

Clare was a Supporting Teaching & Learning Learner and has just landed her dream job thanks to the knowledge and skills she learnt during her course. Juggling two children, a job as a Teaching Assistant and her studies with us was a tall order, but Clare conquered all with the support of not only Skills & Learning but her Tutor Frances. Read Clare’s full story here.

Lee Dixon

3rd Place Student Barber of the Year

After enrolling on an Advanced Barbering Apprenticeship, which was delivered by Mike Taylor Education in partnership with Skills & Learning, Lee entered the National Student Barber of the Year Award and was placed 3rd out of 200 students. Read Lee’s full interview here and discover how he completed his training programme.

Apprentice Learning Network Event

We are unbelievably proud to have Apprentices who attend the Apprentice Learning Networking Group which provides support, learning and networking opportunities to Apprentices across the Borough of Poole & Skills & Learning, Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. Our Apprentice, Freya Kendall, works alongside two fellow Apprentices Nick Hillman & Angel Martin, as well as the Borough of Poole HR department and Unison, where they organise events to help Apprentices get the most out of their qualification – Whether that is more learning opportunities, on top of the qualification learning element, networking or development opportunities.

The 3rd event took place in September 2017 and they focused on team building exercises to add to the Apprentice’s employability skills & development. Pete, a member of Unison, was also invited in to come and discuss learning opportunities they can access and Stevie, from Stour Valley and Poole Partnerships (SVPP) service, came in to discuss what makes a good team.

The Apprentices described the event as ‘Thoroughly enjoyable’ while providing them with useful information to help prepare  for their Apprenticeship and afterwards. It is a perfect opportunity to learn, network and develop away from the working environment and with others who are experiencing the same process.

The group is supported by Unison & has recently been recognised on a National level. We’re so proud to support such a wonderful development opportunity and hope this will continue.

You too can become an Apprentice and access wonderful development opportunities like the Apprentice Learning Networking Event by applying online here. If you are an employer you can talk to us about the services we can offer you in recruiting an Apprentice by clicking here or phoning 01202 262300 | 01305 819059.