A Coventry mum has praised the support of her local college after securing her dream role saving lives and supporting the community.
Nicole Trembath, 25, has joined the West Midlands Fire Service after completing eight weeks of intensive training while raising her one-year-old boy, after contacting Coventry College five years ago to re-take her GCSEs and gain a BTEC Diploma in Public Service.
Nicole, who is raising her son, Oakley, alongside her role as a firefighter, switched from studying sports to Public Service after gaining a double distinction in her first two years at college, but needed GCSEs in Maths and English along the way in order to complete her studies.
After passing both GCSEs, Nicole went on to achieve a double distinction in Public Service, in the hope of one day becoming a police officer.
Nicole found a role as a prison officer after moving north to Harrogate with her then partner before returning to Coventry following the break-up of her marriage.
Still wanting to pursue a career in public service after giving birth to Oakley in 2020, Nicole contacted Coventry College for support with her application form, personal statement, and reference for employment as a firefighter.
With support from her previous tutor, Lizzie Farquhar Nicole enrolled on the West Midlands Fire Service course, where she completed a range of theoretical training before undertaking an eight-week physical training programme.
She is now a fully qualified firefighter based at Coventry Fire Station, serving her home city while being a single parent.
Nicole said: “I’ve always wanted to have a role in public service, and for a long time I hoped to be in the police force, but when I saw this opportunity to help people in the place I grew up, I knew I had to try and make it happen.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Coventry College and made some lifelong friends there, and knew that I could reach out for support to make sure my application and interview were successful.
“They gave me the skills and knowledge to show I had potential as a firefighter, and helped me get my foot in the door with a strong application and I haven’t looked back since. The shift patterns work well as it means I can spend full days with Oakley when I’m not on call.
“It feels like I have come full circle after starting college over six years ago, and I am grateful for the support I’ve had to get where I am now, and look forward to my new challenge.”
Lizzie Farquhar, Progress Tutor and Lecturer in Sport and Public Service, taught Nicole from 2015 to 2017.
She said: “In 2015 I interviewed a young 16-year-old girl, who enrolled onto my BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport course at what was then City College. At that time, her GCSE grades were not high enough for the full Extended Diploma course.
“Nicole became a model student – reliable and trustworthy, with a great rapport with all staff and her peers. She always met deadlines, often handing in work early to the highest grade despite her academic difficulties with English and Maths.
“It was through her amazing hard work and determination, and her commitment to taking on board advice and guidance that she completed the two-year course in 2017 with double distinction grades.
“The grades, life experiences and personal skills she gained while studying with us made her a great candidate to work across any aspect of public service. I am extremely proud of her achievements which are completely down to her perseverance and wish her the best of luck in her new role.”
For more information about Coventry College’s Public Service courses, visit www.coventrycollege.ac.uk/subject/uniformed-public-services