Apprenticeship put teen on path to dream job

MIA Cookson has always wanted to work with animals, so when she landed an apprenticeship in horse care it put her on course for her dream job.

The 18-year-old is studying at Stephenson College, Lenton Lane Industrial Park, for a diploma in horse care.

  1. Rewarding: Mia Cookson is learning how to care for horses.
    Rewarding: Mia Cookson is learning how to care for horses.

She spends most of her time working with horses at the Bassingfield Riding School and Livery in Radcliffe-on-Trent.

Mia, of Arnold, said doing an apprenticeship was the best route into work for her as she had not enjoyed school.

“I didn’t really like school at all. I was doing an English and maths course at Clarendon College when I heard about apprenticeships on a TV advert,” she said.

“I’d just got my own house and needed to pay the rent, so earning and learning at the same time was the best path for me, especially because it wasn’t sitting in a classroom all the time.”

Mia, who has loved horses since she was young added: “I find horses really relaxing to be around, so that is a big part of why I chose the course.

“I started at the end of last year and it will take about 21 months to complete.

“I think it’s an ideal path for people who want to earn and learn but don’t think university is for them, and I’m really enjoying it.”

Mia’s apprenticeship involves learning about stable duties and how to bandage horses’ legs.

Her dream is to work with disabled people who want to ride horses.

She said: “My younger brother is disabled and he got so much out of riding and being with horses.

“I think it’s really rewarding because horses are very responsive, so that is how I would like to put my apprenticeship into practice one day.”

Mia’s retention officer from Stephenson College, Ali Garton, said she was extremely impressed by her progress.

She said: “Mia has developed a lot since she began the course.

“Her employers at the Bassingfield Riding School have been really supportive and she has achieved a lot so far. I’m really proud of her.”

Helen Church, manager of Bassingfield Riding School, said Mia was improving all the time thanks to her apprenticeship.

She said: “Mia is now riding really well and coping with a wide variety of horses, from very young ones to more mature ones.

“She’s going from strength to strength and with her apprenticeship everything is adding up.

“In fact she sometimes notices things about the horses that even I have missed.”

The first stage of the Post’s Get Notts Working campaign aims to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.

We are asking companies in the city and county to pledge to take on one or more apprentices. The campaign is being co-ordinated by the Post with Derbyshire and Notts Chamber of Commerce, the National Apprenticeship Service and Notts City and County Employment and Skills Board.

Later this year, we will ask firms to take on unemployed people for a spell of work experience.

Paul ChampionStrategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Sent from my iPad

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