“What are you going to do when you leave school?” It’s a question all young people are asked all of the time. Often the answer is, “I don’t know.” That’s how it was for Imogen Brame, now 17, from Gainsborough, Lincs.
“I had no idea what to do – I just knew I enjoyed horses,” says Imogen. She started a course at an equine college but left after a couple of months. “It was too classroom-based,” she explains. “I learn best in a hands-on way, and I found it frustrating.”
She saw an advert on Lincoln-based event rider Emily Prangnell’s Facebook page for an apprentice, and has never looked back. Imogen is now doing her Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship through Stubbing Court Training Ltd (SCT), Britain’s leading provider of apprentices to the equestrian industry, and has been working for Emily at Kettlethorpe Sport Horses for a year.
“I like the fact that practical learning is backed up by correct theory, and because we work through modules I know I am getting a broad-based training,” says Imogen. “The flexibility of online learning works really well because I can fit it round my working day.”
Imogen enjoys grooming for Emily – who has competed up to CCI5* level, riding at Burghley in 2018 aboard her top horse, DHI Beaunesse – at events, and has ambitions to be a yard manager within the competition world. Recently she had the opportunity to ride at SCT’s exclusive Masterclass with British eventing team coach Chris Bartle: “It was a great perk and very inspiring,” said Imogen.
Emily, who runs Kettlethorpe Sport Horses with her business partner, Charlotte Hogg, says: “Imogen is my first apprentice, and I am really impressed with SCT. They have been so helpful – you can ring up about anything at any time. They provide great back-up to employers as well as apprentices. There are so many rules and regulations around employment and they help make sure we are up to date with best practices, health and safety and the legal issues surrounding employment. I have been to some of the seminars they run, and they are so useful.
“I enjoy training Imogen; if you train your staff yourself you know that they understand your way of doing things, and the apprenticeship syllabus means that we cover all the bases.”
SCT’s equine apprenticeships allow young people to earn a wage and gain valuable qualifications while learning from excellent professionals, giving them the best possible start to working life. It provides all-round support and advice to both apprentices and employers and, through its superb network of contacts within the horse world, is perfectly suited to fit the right person to the right set-up. It provides superb training, wide-ranging opportunities for personal development and chances to develop employability and professionalism.