My name is Rhys Blackburn and I currently work as a Lettings Administrator / Consultant for an estate and property management agency in the North East and am a fully licensed and official member of both the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and the Guild of Property Professionals, having worked in the industry for over four years at time of writing.

After finishing sixth form and deciding against attending university as I had originally planned, I was oblivious as to what career I wanted to pursue. Finding myself stuck between unemployment and dead-end, low-paying jobs, I had no direction, professional qualifications and almost no previous job experience.

I contacted the Key Training branch in Newcastle regarding a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship they were offering. Seeing a chance to develop whatever administrative skills I had and secure stable employment, I had never particularly considered becoming an estate agent as a career path.

Upon starting my apprenticeship, the staff at Key Training were so supportive, helpful, encouraging and enthusiastic about my development, I found an industry in which I greatly enjoyed working and was able to utilise my skills in a productive and meaningful way. Thanks to them, I was compelled to put my experience to use and pursue a career in property management and lettings.

Less than a year after finishing my apprenticeship with Key Training, I found myself able to advance my career in ways I could never have imagined: managing to acquire a higher qualification apprenticeship in Property Management, finding full-time employment in my current role and eventually achieving status as a fully licensed ARLA agent over the space of just two years – all things that would have been completely unattainable otherwise.

I can categorically say that without the support and encouragement I received from Key Training, and their willingness to help someone held back by a glaring lack of experience, I would not be at this stage of my career. Dare I say, I may not even have been able to start a career at all and would now likely be working in a field in would not enjoy. As clichéd as it is to say; I cannot imagine my life had Key Training not set me up and helped me along the way.

Their staff are among the most professional and supportive people I have ever encountered and a true credit to their profession at large. I cannot recommend Key Training enough to anyone looking to start an apprenticeship in any industry in which they want to enter or establish themselves, for the dedication and support they show to their learners. I have always recommended Key Training as the first point of contact for anyone looking for a highly rewarding apprenticeship and will continue to do so. I will always owe them a huge debt of gratitude to them for the opportunity they provided me and hope that this statement helps in some way to repay the favour.