Vocational route secures bright future for Abbie after troubled school days

A vocational training programme and a supportive learning provider have helped Abbie turn her life around after a difficult time at school.

Abbey was referred to Young Persons Opportunities Project (YPOP) in 2006 by her school, Gateacre Comprehensive, who have a long term partnership with the Speke-based training centre. Abbie was in year 10 but her attendance at school had become very poor due to a difficult family situation. She began to avoid school, losing most of her friends, and she ended up becoming very isolated.

Training and support

In close consultation with Abbie and her school, YPOP drew up a programme of training and support to help her develop skills and build her confidence. At first it was difficult for Abbie to get into a routine of attending YPOP training centre as she had spent so much time at home. Her motivation was low as she had missed so much school work and felt quite hopeless. But gradually, with the support of YPOP staff, she started to get her life back together, and achieved NVQs levels 1, 2 and 3 in Business Administration and Customer Service.


Abbie is now employed by YPOP as an administrator and NVQ Assessor. She is currently studying for the ATT accountancy qualifications, and aims to eventually go to university to become a fully qualified accountant.

It was not an easy journey for Abbie but she has applied herself with the support and encouragement of YPOP staff:

“My turning point was when I started to trust staff at YPOP who kept telling me I was intelligent and capable. I have achieved and succeeded beyond what I thought was possible,” she says.

Young Persons Opportunities Project has been delivering vocational courses to young people for over 22 years. They offer vocational courses and quality training and support to young people and aim to increase educational achievement and develop life skills and personal potential.

They currently offer a study programme for 16 to 19 year olds, which prepares students for employment, apprenticeships, further education and training. Some students will be entitled to a bursary and bus pass. They offer courses in the following areas:

  • Childcare: The Childcare Diploma for Children and Young Peoples Workforce is offered at Level 2 and 3
  • Construction: The construction related courses are accredited by EDI; this is for the Skills for Working Life in Brick & Joinery, and CAA (The Construction Award Alliance) for the higher level BCO course.
  • Horticulture: Students grow vegetables, plants, flowers, fruits and learn about the importance of composting.
  • National Maths, English and ITC Functional skills. This year they will also offer the IGCSE in Maths and English
  • Customer Service at NVQ Levels 1, 2 & 3.
  • ICT: Diploma in IT, and entry level ICT

YPOP are currently recruiting onto their training courses. For further information contact 0151 233 2078

Learning Plus Expo 2014

Schools Select Learning Plus Expo 2014

GMLPF is looking forward to meeting school heads, governers, teachers and other learning professionals at the Schools Select Learning Plus Expo on June 16th. As exhibitors at the event, we will be speaking to audiences about the support GMLPF and its members can offer schools in the area of raising awareness of Apprenticeships and other vocational options for pupils.

School support services

The support GMLPF offers schools is provided in conjunction with its members – over 60 providers of Apprenticeships and other work-based learning – and takes the form of attendance at careers evenings, pupil-friendly presentations, parent workshops, and provision of support materials such as lesson plans. GMLPF members have exceptional expertise and experience of training for specific industry sectors and are well positioned to inform pupils about using Apprenticeships and associated training programmes as routes into successful professional careers.

School curriculum

The Schools Select Learning Plus Expo 2014 takes place at the Cunard Building as part of Eduation Week at the International Festival for Business. The event is an opportunity for high quality providers to showcase their services to  an invited audience of teaching professionals. Via the exhibitors, the event presents a plethora of innovative ways to increase pupil achievement and attainment levels. The exhibition provides delegates with the opportunity to meet workshop providers in person and discuss the ways their services can benefit the school curriculum.

Find out more about becoming a GMLPF member


Ex-apprentice, James Glendenning has recently been appointed the new chief executive of Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF).

Apprenticeship success story

James exemplifies apprenticeships success: an ex-apprentice taking the helm at an organisation which champions apprenticeships and represents over 60 apprenticeships providers. 34-year-old James started his professional career as a 16 year old apprentice employed by Merseyside Training and Enterprise Council. After completing his apprenticeship in business administration, he climbed the ladder in the Learning and Skills Council, developing specialist knowledge in vocational training management.

Engaging young people

Before joining GMLPF, James worked for Liverpool City Council on the 16 to 19 Commissioning Team. There he acquired an invaluable understanding of the issues surrounding the engagement of the region’s young people, as well as in-depth experience of commissioning public funding and contract management at a senior level.

James is looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of his new post:

“The role GMLPF plays in the region’s learning and skills landscape has grown to significant proportions. I’m really looking forward to continuing the organisation’s sterling work, whilst identifying new ways to support our members and partners to provide high quality learning and skills training for the people and businesses of Liverpool City Region.”


One of the first tasks James is undertaking is a comprehensive consultation with its members and partners, inviting them to help shape GMLPF’s key strategic priorities for the short and long term.

“I’m very excited about our forthcoming consultation which promises to identify some very exciting opportunities. New Government policies and a challenging economy promise to keep the sector on its toes. The team at GMLPF is keen to consult with its members and partners to identify the most appropriate ways of working together to meet learning and skills needs in the region.”