Learn while you earn

At Places Leisure, we put our people first. We attract and hire talented, passionate people who have a curiosity to continually learn and develop. You can even read some of the success stories below.

Apprenticeships offer an alternative route to continue education that lets you study for recognised qualifications, while also gaining on-the-job experience and getting paid a competitive salary. Our colleagues get the opportunity to ‘learn while they earn’ whilst gaining experience and exposure to our business practices – with no student loans, no tuition fees and no debt! 

View apprenticeships

We love apprenticeships for the value and opportunities that they bring, don’t take our word for it though, read some of our colleagues' stories below.

Rich Smart - Technical Manager

Having done a few courses through lifetime now and even though covid did its’ best to pre long one of them. I have definitely increased my knowledge in management and training myself and others in the gym. I also gained confidence after gaining the new qualifications.

I originally did my Level 2 fitness, which helped me with my training in the gym as I was quite new to it, my fitness growing up was mainly based around cardio like football and mountain biking. Working out initially seemed a bit mundane to me, however, now I have knowledge of what I am doing, it has become a talking point, making it not only a trip to the gym, but also a lot more sociable than before. I have also covered gym shifts and taken a fitness class, which is something I would not have done before, and I found it really enjoyable.

I had a break in between the fitness qualifications while I did my Level 3 Team Leader course. This has helped me with my relationships with colleagues at work and understanding the best ways to manage people in many different work situations. Emotional intelligence was one of the most interesting new subjects (to me) covered in this course, and I have become far more aware of how important it is to have healthy relationships with people, not only at work, but in day-to-day life as well.

Now heading into my third course, Level 3 Fitness, I hope this will open another door in my career. I would also like to use it in conjunction with my swimming qualifications. I am looking forward to using and sharing knowledge in the gym.

Daniel Gatehouse

Daniel Gatehouse

I joined Places Leisure in 2017 as the Regional Catering Manager, supporting the catering operation across the Places Leisure estate.

Since then, I have had the fantastic opportunity of completing a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at level 5 in Operational Management and I am now about a third way through a Level 7 qualification in leadership. Both courses have been very challenging but also very rewarding, helping me within my role to develop my knowledge, skills, and behaviours in a range of areas.

I have been supported throughout these courses by Places Leisure as well as by Chris Cregg, Head of Catering and Retail in being able to achieve this.

I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to develop their professional experience to consider an NVQ with Places Leisure as a possible route.

Stuart Lee - Contract Manager

Watch Stuart talk us through his journey to the role of Contract Manager, via a number of positions at Places Leisure whilst undertaking various apprenticeship schemes.

Watch Stuart's video to hear his full story.

Sam Elliott and John Evans

Sam Elliott and John Evans -Wyre Forest Leisure Centre

We asked both Sam and Elliott the following questions;

1. What motivated you to want to do an apprenticeship?
Sam – The course seemed really interesting
John – The thought of working and learning

2. What three areas would you say you have developed the most so far in your apprenticeships?
Sam – CPR skills, Team player and improved confidence
John – Team player, First Aid skills and a better cleaner

3. Is it supporting your professional/personal goals?
Sam – It is helping me develop skills and improving my options for the future
John – Yes, definitely

4. What advice would you give to future apprentices?
Sam – Try hard
John – Have good people skills and be social

5. Reflecting before you did your apprenticeship, what new skills/behaviours have you learnt? And how do you use them?
Sam – First aid and CPR skills
John –How to keep our site in a good condition

6. What does that future look like for you?
Sam – A career at Wyre Forest leisure centre
John – Becoming the best I can be in this company.

Dave Cross - Training Co-Ordinator

My first Apprenticeship was an L3 NVQ in Leisure Management. This set me on my management career journey to becoming General Manager (GM).

Once in post as a GM I completed my Level 2 Fitness and L3 Personal Training apprenticeships to gain a better understanding of these elements and how I could impact the business and people in a positive way.

My passion for learning and for helping others develop led me to spend 10 years working in the apprenticeship sector, seven years as a Regional Trainer and three years as Apprenticeship Manager. I am now working towards my L5 Learning & Development Apprenticeship which will support my development within the L&D sector.

Additionally, elements of my L&D apprenticeships will continue to allow me to focus on the strategic approach for Apprenticeships within our business.

What apprenticeships do we offer?

We offer all levels of apprenticeships to our colleagues, whether they're starting their career journey with us at Places Leisure or have an established career, we have an apprenticeship that will support their development.

The entry level apprenticeships that are available are called ‘Intermediate’ or Level 2.  

  • Level 2 Activity Leadership Exercise & Fitness
  • Level 2 Business & Administration
  • Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner
  • Level 2 Sales & Telesales
  • Level 2 Leisure Operations
  • Level 2 Community Activator Coach
  • Level 2 Hospitality Team Member
  • Level 2 Leisure Team Member

Moving up, the next level is ‘Advanced’ apprenticeships or Level 3, which is the equivalent of passing two A-levels.  

  • Level 3 Business Administrator
  • Level 3 Children & Young People’s Workforce: Early Years Educator
  • Level 3 Customer Service Specialist
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 3 Leisure Duty Manager
  • Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor

If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, you might be interested in a ‘Higher’ apprenticeship (Level 4 or 5). These are equivalent to the first stages of higher education, such as foundation degrees 

  • Level 4 Professional Accounting Taxation Technician
  • Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager 
  • Leadership & Management\Level 5 CMI Developing Leaders 

The highest level of apprenticeships is ‘Degree’ or Level 6/7. Both these and ‘Higher’ apprenticeships will span over 3-6 years.  

  • Level 7 Senior Leader Master’s Degree

We believe that everyone has potential, our apprenticeship schemes have been designed to develop our talent with a structured programme that gives our colleagues the opportunity to: 

  • Learn job-specific and transferrable skills
  • Receive support from experienced mentors
  • Study towards a nationally recognised qualification