Skills Active Apprentice of the Year competition: An exercise apprentice with energy to burn

August 25, 2020

Lewis Young has enough energy and ideas to keep him busy for several lifetimes. Completing his exercise apprenticeship helped him to focus that energy into a single channel that will support multiple pathways for his future career.

Lewis is one of three finalists for the 2020 Skills Active Apprentice of the Year. Each year, this award goes to a high-potential apprentice with commitment, passion and diligence, who has the skills and qualifications to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders, through the medium of sport, recreation or the performing arts.

Originally from the UK, where he swum the English channel solo at the age of 17, Lewis has been working at the Levin Aquatic Centre since 2018, both in the swim school and the fitness centre.

Lewis was already an experienced swim teacher when he started the job, and he wanted to complement that skillset by getting qualified in exercise and fitness, so he chose the Skills Active Multi-Skilled Exercise Instructor apprenticeship.

“The new role meant I was managing the gym, but I didn’t have much background in gym operations. I am a strong believer that any supervisor or manager should be able to step in and teach if necessary, as this is a good example for staff, as well as for business continuity.

“The apprenticeship covered every aspect that was looking to study in great detail, while allowing me to learn on the job from some of the awesome, experienced staff that the centre already had. I also had a fantastic Skills Active assessor who was able to give me feedback and advice throughout, to help me grow.”

Lewis says that as a practical, kinaesthetic learner, the apprenticeship model was perfect for him. Putting things into action was the best way to cement concepts and information in his mind. At the same time, the qualification also helped him step up his planning and organising skills.

“The course has shown me heaps of different ways to plan and prepare, allowing me to channel my energy and thought processes into what needs to be done. Without these plans my ideas had the ability to go a little all over the place! It has also given me more in-depth knowledge about anatomy, and the exercise industry.”

Lewis’s long-term plan is to keep spreading the love of fitness and health in the community. He is currently teaching both aqua and land-based fitness at the Aquatic Centre, and one day would like to have a business of his own that combines these passions, but also has room for his love of marketing, and photography. Armed with the Skills Active apprenticeship, he’s well on his way.

About the Apprentice of the Year competition

The Skills Active Apprentice of the Year will be announced later in the year. Watch this space to find out more about the other finalists!


Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren

021 195 5127

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the transitional industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts. We are a non-profit organisation, 50% owned by Māori shareholders, and funded by government to promote careers and workforce development in our industries, work with those industries to create world-class qualifications, and support workplaces to train staff.