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When Rachael enrolled on the Key to Apprenticeships programme at Aigburth Training Opportunities (ATO), she was experiencing difficulties in her personal life, living with her social worker due to problems with foster carers. This had an impact on her behaviour: she was disruptive during training sessions and often missed classes.

However, she clearly had a natural gift for relating to children and was really keen to work with them. With support from ATO, Rachael settled down and went on to achieve her Key to Apprenticeships qualifications.

After completing the Key to Apprenticeships programme, Rachael was employed on a full apprenticeship by KIND, to work with disadvantaged children. She completed her apprenticeship in 12 months and then came to work full time at Little Explorers, ATO's onsite nursery. Here, ATO were able to support her through further difficult personal times. She is now a strong member of the team, taking on the responsibility for Children in Need fundraising events including arranging raffles, bake sales and a sponsored fancy dress.

This year, Rachael is applying to university to undertake a degree in Childhood Studies. She then aims to achieve a qualification in social work.

Rachael's story highlights an important feature of the Key to Apprenticeships programme: tailored, individual support. ATO were able to support Rachael through the difficult times in her life which meant that she was able to go onto to achieve and get herself on a steady career path, underpinned by strong skills and qualifications.