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Harry Masser

Harry Masser has a Gym Instructor Apprenticeship with training provider ICON at easyGym

It’s great to have the opportunity to tell my story so hopefully I am able to offer some inspiration to others and demonstrate how much an apprenticeship can be the right fit for many people. It changed my life after all.

I began my training with James Coates, Tutor from ICON as a Gym Instructor Apprentice in December 2015, supported by both my very proactive Mum and my great Manager, James Gould, at easyGym in Southampton. I have Asperger’s Syndrome and I need support from those around me to help me learn key skills as well as the best way to relate to others, colleagues and customers.

I seem to learn and understand things better when they are explained in a specific way. I feel I have a great memory and capacity to learn. Attitude is also very important in any career and people often say that I’m kind-hearted and have a positive outlook on life, which helps when working with others. I have found that I need support and patience to allow me to absorb details in a way that I can understand.  I thought going down the Fitness Apprenticeship route would be the most useful for me, as it would allow me to learn at my own pace, be physically active, and enable me to gain experience in a busy gym environment. I always enjoy speaking with people so the apprenticeship was a great opportunity to meet lots of new gym members, young and old, which developed my interpersonal skills. I had to find a method of learning that worked for me, which was regular daily studying from my ICON manual. 

I think the key to success for others looking to do an apprenticeship would be to look to create a strong support structure. It worked best for me when family, friends, tutors and employers were all working in unison with me. If they are able to communicate effectively and draw on each other’s experience it can make things easier for everyone.

James Gould and the team at easyGym have been amazing for me! I have been accepted for who I am and I have become friends with many of the people I have met during my learner journey. I have fallen in love with fitness and spend much of my spare time working out.

Harry Masser

Achievements

I have a years’ experience in a busy commercial gym environment. I have my Gym Instructor, Circuit Instructor and Cycling Instructor qualifications. I also achieved my REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer award in July 2017.

On a personal level I am much more confident, outgoing and knowledgeable then before I started my apprenticeship.  

Challenges

Group delivery didn’t work for me when it came to learning so I was offered dedicated support and additional visits by James Coates, ICON Skills Assessor, who ensured I was able to take my time with each stage of the programme.  The extra time was often spent explaining questions and concepts in a very specific way so that I could use various points of reference I felt comfortable with, to understand each element of the programme.

I had to re-sit a couple of the exams but I never gave up and persevered each time I had a setback. I have achieved many high scores throughout, most recently scoring 93% in my latest exam.

The Future

It's been such an incredible journey and I couldn't have done it without the help and support of James Gould and James Coates and the team at easyGym.

This is a huge milestone for me and it means I will be able to get a job, make a living for myself and be more independent; which goes a long way towards helping me live a productive and fulfilling life.

I have really enjoyed working with ICON and appreciate all of the hard work and patience from everyone.