Richmond School pupils get insight into apprenticeships from Darlington College

Richmond School Year 11 student Anthony Woodward, of Catterick, is offered advice on apprenticeships by Darlington College business development advisor Mark Thorpe.

Students have been given an insight into a part they could play in filling more than 135,000 vacancies nationally for apprentices.

Year 11 students from Richmond School and Sixth Form College took part in a special workshop introducing them to the world of work and how they could earn as they learn.

Darlington College is able to offer full-time courses and apprenticeships in a range of careers, from engineering and motor vehicle maintenance, to sports science, media, hair and beauty, art and design, catering and construction.Darlington College business development advisor Mark Thorpe, a former Richmond School pupil, told them of his life and career experiences and what was on offer at the college.

“I left this school aged 16 and worked in a garage,” he said. “I served my apprenticeship at Darlington College before working for Cummins, which allowed me to travel the world to places in the Far East such as China and Japan.

“From an apprenticeship you can do many fantastic things but it is important to get the right one for you. You get paid as you learn, you gain invaluable life experience and you make friends for life.”

Richmond School and Sixth Form College careers and employment manger Liz Mannion added: “Apprenticeships help bridge the void between school and working life and information sessions like this one mark the start of that transition.

“I was delighted our students were so engaged and asked some insightful questions. They have really started to think about their futures and it is a comfort to know that so many amazing opportunities can be offered by Darlington College and local employers.”

Student Ben Pilkington, of Barton, said: “This has really got me thinking, particularly as I would love to work outdoors. It must be really rewarding building something from nothing but I’m also considering photography so today will help me decide on the best course.”

Ben Pilkington, of Barton, explores his options at a workshop revealing the opportunities around apprenticeships.
Ben Pilkington, of Barton, explores his options at a workshop revealing the opportunities around apprenticeships.

Anthony Woodward, of Catterick, added: “It’s really useful to find out how best to access the information we need to help us decide our futures. I am thinking of something in the aerospace industry as I have always been fascinated by aircraft design.”

Students were given a work book to complete and Mr Thorpe will return to the school in the coming weeks to help students make their life-choices.