From education to employment

Darnell’s Story: Life after Football and Forging a New Career

Apprentify Group Celebrates 17th National Apprenticeship Week

Digital apprenticeship provider Apprentify is celebrating the achievements of its apprentices during the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW). Commencing 5th February 2024, NAW’s theme this year is ‘Skills for Life’ reflecting on how apprenticeships can help drive growth for organisations and boost careers.  To commemorate this calendar event, Apprentify is recognising the success of its apprentices, shining a light on Milton Keynes based Darnell Johnson.

Darnell Johnson – Level 4 Digital Marketing Apprentice and Affiliate Marketing Assistant at SB Digital Media Ltd enrolled onto Apprentify’s Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship after leaving the world of football at 18.

After spending nine years in a football academy Darnell was unsure of what direction to take his career. Commenting on his career change he said: “I want to show that anyone who comes from a sporting background that doesn’t go as expected is not a failure. That motivated me and the resilience I developed on the football pitch has been crucial in navigating this new career path. I want to inspire others by showing there are other avenues for success that can opens doors to new and exciting possibilities.”

Apprentify provides apprentices for organisations across the UK and has so far helped to elevate the careers of over a thousand people in the UK with their apprenticeship courses. Offering an alternative career path with on-the-job skills training while earning a salary and a qualification upon completion, Apprentify curate courses based on the industry developments while tailoring curriculum and coaching to the individual and organisational needs.

Throughout his footballing career, Darnell demonstrated skills that he has been able to carry over to his apprenticeship and has further developed his career by enrolling on the Level 4 programme. Paying homage to his support network, Darnell commented:

“When I began the apprenticeship, I utilised the support of my development coaches to access additional learning material. As you progress through the apprenticeship, your confidence grows, so you don’t feel as dependent on them. But even now, knowing that I can reach out to a coach who knows and understands me has helped me to grow organically and played a huge role in my apprenticeship journey.”

Speaking on the advice he would give to other sportspeople considering a change of career, Darnell said:

“I’ve seen a lot of cases in teammates who’ve been dishearten by not making it in their sporting career. I want to inspire people by showing them that there is an alternative. It happens a lot. As long as you set challenges for yourself, you will continue to grow and that’s what I hope to change.”

As someone who has engaged with both routes, Darnell found his apprenticeship offered him an environment has enabled him to establish himself in a new career and hopes his story will inspire others to make the same leap he did.

About Apprentify Group

Apprentify Group is a training and apprenticeship provider for the modern world. Consisting of Apprentify and Netcom Training, the Group empowers people with new digital skills for new and emerging careers.  

Recently rated Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted, Apprentify offers a unique approach to finding the very best apprentices for roles such as Digital Marketing, Junior Content Producer, Data Analyst and Software Developer. With an extensive list of educators providing online courses, Apprentify can work with businesses to fill roles as an ‘earn and learn’ route for school leavers and offer apprenticeships to existing in-situ employees to expand knowledge and upskill staff. 

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