Lynn Sheils, from Sunderland, signed up to start her Operations Departmental Manager Apprenticeship Level 5 programme at OCS Group UK with @QubeLearning, a leading national Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider, two months into the global pandemic, unaware of the inconceivable changes that were soon to affect the planet and its occupants.

Having worked in Facilities Management on several school contracts for many years, Lynn’s last role was office-based and despite her initial enthusiasm, she missed liaising with customers face to face. Lynn’s lack of job satisfaction was taking its toll, and so she started to look for a role in July 2018 and was keen to find a position that incorporated daily interaction with other people. In August 2018 Lynn soon found a job description that looked ideal, and she felt eager to apply. She was then interviewed and shortly after, accepted the role at OCS in the Site Management team as Site Manager to one school. After two months, Lynn’s sterling capabilities were recognised, and she was promoted to Contracts Manager and charged with looking after several schools.

Regularly enrolling on internal workshops, Lynn was excited to have the opportunity to embark on an Apprenticeship, hosted by Qube Learning. Starting her Apprenticeship in May 2020, two months into the spread of Covid-19, Lynn was determined to continue the only way she knew how, with a stoic approach to get through. At work Lynn had to make sure that all her sites complied with the new government guidelines for cleaning and social distancing and keeping buildings compliant with water control etc while the buildings were only partially occupied. There were still key worker and vulnerable children attending the sites, so it was paramount that things were put in place. Lynn’s life suddenly changed; she had three teenagers needing to be home schooled and a disabled husband to take care of. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced. The demands of the children and making sure they were attending their online learning and ensuring their homework was done while keeping them motivated and making sure their mental health was not affected was tricky. She believes her patience and determination are what helped her through the last year on a personal level, but the belief of family and colleagues encouraged her to stay strong and focused, in a professional setting.

Lynn says: ‘Managing five schools with the virus outbreak has certainly presented its difficulties and challenged me in ways I’d not expected. As an individual and working in a team, we have shown true resilience. With the support of OCS and Qube Learning, I was still able to enjoy my apprenticeship and I even managed to complete two units of a Level 5 diploma in one week during the pandemic, something my tutor had never seen in eight years. To say it has been tricky is an understatement. I could have never predicted the events that have taken place, but I have tried my best to manage heightened emotions and remain calm, across all spheres of my life. The impact of the last year on work and family life has been substantial. However, I have been fortunate enough to stay in employment, while learning, unlike many others, and I am extremely grateful for this’.

Jo Kiani, Qube Learning Tutor, says: ‘The focus for Lynn has been to drive forward a culture of learning, support and effective collaborations, and she has already encouraged two of the site managers to enrol on the Level 5 Management Apprenticeship. She really is a credit to OCS; she consistently exceeded expectations and on top of an extremely busy workload and the added challenges Covid-19 brings, Lynn meets every target agreed in between visits, and her standard of work is exceptional’.

Used to living in the moment, Lynn is now looking forward to the future, where she can move freely and start seeing more clients in person again. She hopes her apprenticeship continues to nurture her natural abilities and expand on her skill set, and she looks forward to where her learning journey will take her.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 10 hours 18 minutes ago

What do we need to keep from the past year of...

In partnership with Capita. Schools in 2019 looked much like schools in 1919. Schools in 2020 were radically different. Could it be, now that new...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 10 hours 18 minutes ago

How worried should we be about lost school time...

In partnership with Nuffield Foundation.The disruption to formal schooling over the past year has left children having covered less of the...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 10 hours 18 minutes ago

Have we lost sight of education’s purpose? | The...

In partnership with BigChange.There are reasons why the English school system is built the way it is: a complicated system of exams, assessment and...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page