Muscling into an apprenticeship

Muscling in on the job of your dreams might seem impossible but that’s exactly what Buddy Etchell did - and he’s never looked back.

Buddy’s passion is fitness and nutrition, especially calisthenics (body weight training) and weight training.



So while most of his friends plumped for A levels and university, Buddy wanted to take a different route.

“I didn't want to do A levels, I felt it wouldn't get me anywhere, I'd have increased knowledge about certain subjects, but I knew it wasn't right for me,” he explains.

Instead he investigated a sports science NVQ course at a local college. 

“I found that once completed you become a qualified Level 2 fitness instructor and a qualified Level 3 personal trainer. I was tempted to go this route, but the whole idea of just going to college and not getting any experience of being/ working in a gym didn't really make sense to me.”

His next option was an apprenticeship via a college with a day release.

“I went on all the recommended websites, I tried my hardest to get a position.  Unfortunately no-one got back to me,” he recalls.

Finally Buddy decided to go it alone and apply directly.

 Apprentice Buddy Etchell

Apprentice Buddy Etchell


“I adapted my CV to make it stand out from all the others.  I added a photo of myself and came up with a quirky rather ‘presumptuous’ strap line along the lines of ‘Are you looking for a hard working ‘go-getter apprentice?’

“I then spent an hour or so writing emails to all the gyms across Hertfordshire and simply waited.  The next day I had a couple of gyms asking for interviews.”

But keen to get the right apprenticeship, Buddy researched each gym too.

“I wanted to be in a friendly environment where you were greeted as you walk in, somewhere people were happy to help,” he explains.

“I stumbled upon fit4less gym who are owned by Energie. I could see they were a small gym but the customer reviews were phenomenal around customer care. When I looked around, they were very welcoming and made me feel at home.”

Happily for Buddy the gym’s general manager read his CV, was impressed and invited him to interview.

“I was offered the position to be the apprentice there, working my way towards becoming a Level 2 fitness instructor and a Level 3 personal trainer with a qualified spin class certificate instructor. 

“It seems my CV landed in their inbox a week before they were to advertise for an apprentice.

It was clearly meant to be!,” he says.

Now Buddy is working 30 hours a week with some weekend shifts.

“It’s low pay, but an amazing experience,” he adds. “And I see the money as a bonus, after all if I was at college it would be costing me!”

Instagram: @your_workoutbuddy