Success Stories.
Career & Personal Growth.

Welcome to our new Success Stories page, where we will bring you regular updates on the accomplishments of our academy learners on both a personal and professional level.

  • Catalin Trandafir - From Academy Learner to Academy Tutor

    Romanian-born Catalin, who is happily married with 3-year and 9-month old sons, recently relayed his career and personal growth story to the Skills People Group.


    With one of the closest people in his life telling him that he was inadequate from a very early age, Catalin had no confidence in his own abilities. So, when he began the Introduction to Construction course early last year at Sheffield Skills Academy, Adam Wilson, our Multi-Skilled Construction Tutor, helped him build his confidence to a level that surpassed his own expectations.


    Moving from Romania to Kefalonia¬†in Greece in 2007, Catalin made a further jump to the UK seven years later to work in a restaurant alongside a friend he’d made in Kefalonia. .

    When online one day, Catalin noticed an advert for the Sheffield Skills Academy and rang in to book himself onto the Introduction to Construction skills training course.


    While carrying out the 2-week course, Adam spotted something unique in Catalin. His drive, tenacity, and willingness to learn made him the perfect candidate to move on to the 6-week multi-trade course at Rotherham Skills Academy, and since that time Catlin hasn’t looked back…


    Catalin said that “The support and encouragement from the tutors throughout each stage of my learning journey has helped me massively, breaking down the barriers between me and my confidence. Steven Wood and Chris East, in particular, helped me to excel in both bricklaying and joinery with their knowledge, talents and patience. I cannot thank them enough.”

    Alan Brigg’s saw Catalin’s talent shine through. He was offered the chance to submit his CV for the position of Maintenance Operative at the Academy back in May 2021, and after being shortlisted for an interview, Catalin successfully secured the coveted role.

    Since that time, Catlin’s spirited, yet committed and motivated persona has won the hearts of not only the Academy and senior management, but our new learners’ too. His patience with people with learning difficulties is inspiring, and it wasn’t long before the Academy saw what he was doing and asked to help deliver a two-week course.

    Catalin is now undertaking his Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET), with the aim of becoming an Academy tutor. Where he has to complete written assignments and reports, individual and group case studies, learning journal entries, self-evaluations, group research tasks and presentations, and independent teaching and learning delivery with informal and formal observations taking place.


    Phew! A massive leap for someone who possessed zero confidence and a limited grasp of English. Proving that if you work hard, strive for better, and have a great team of professional people who can support and mentor you, you can fulfill your dreams.

    Catalin is a wonderful addition to the team and testament to what our Skills Academies aim to achieve. We couldn’t wish him any more success in his future endeavors.