Professional boxer chooses teaching assistant apprenticeship

Owen Jobburn has accomplished a lot in 29 years. He’s fought for his country, made it as a professional boxer and helped others achieve academic and social success. Now he has turned his attention to completing a Teaching Assistant Level 3 apprenticeship to support his work helping local vulnerable young people.

Moving back home to pursue a life-long dream

The former soldier made a big decision when he traded in his barracks for life in a boxing ring. After spending half a decade in the Army, Owen moved back to his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent to pursue his dream of making it as a professional boxer. Little did he know that a mere two years later, he would be fighting at a professional level and a local community hero.

In 2017, Owen joined the team at Alpha Learning Staffordshire. The organisation is an alternative education provision supporting vulnerable young people. In his role, Owen utilises his background in boxing to help others by enhancing learning, growing confidence and building self-esteem. The service users also work to gain qualifications such as GCSEs, NVQs and BTECs. Learning is achieved in a supported and tailored environment which caters for each young person’s individual needs.

Life as an apprentice teaching assistant

Speaking about his career journey so far, Owen said: “I was working job-to-job not happy with what I was doing before I met Lindon Newbon, Director of Alpha Learning. Lindon thought I had I had the right personality and work ethic to gel with the young people and offered me a job. I have now been at Alpha for more than two years and it feels like I have found a role that’s made for me.”

“I heard about apprenticeships with Interserve from my mother. She completed her Level 3 in Residential Childcare course with the company and also works with vulnerable children. My mother could not have spoken more highly of the Trainer Assessor, Stef. So I decided to give it a go. I’m thoroughly enjoying the course so far and once I have completed my teaching assistant course, I am looking at completing a child management qualification.”

Owen’s Trainer Assessor, Stephanie (Stef) Hart says: “It’s fantastic to see what Owen does on a day-to-day basis. He encourages young people to have a passion for boxing and achieve qualifications they never thought they could achieve. Owen is a fabulous role model for his young students. He helps them believe in themselves and their potential.

He has shown huge commitment to the level 3 teaching assistant course and is due to achieve in September 2019. Owen studies for his course as well as working a full-time job and undertaking extensive training for his fights.”

Lindon Newbon, director of Alpha Learning added: “I work with Owen within my professional capacity as a boxing trainer. I first spotted qualities in Owen such as his diligence to work and caring nature. I spoke to Karl Burgess (head of education) and suggested we interview Owen for a vacant post for a teaching assistant. Although Owen had no experience in this field, I recognised certain qualities in him that would lend themselves to working with young people. Owen has worked with us for over two years and is an outstanding member of staff.”

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