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College celebrates the success of its Civil Engineering apprentices

Luke Bell (left) and Darren Coombs (right) with Seymour Civil Engineering's Managing Director Kevin Byrne.

We are celebrating our on-going partnership with civil giant Seymour Civil Engineering, after the success of the firms two latest apprentices. Luke Bell, 17, and Darren Coombs, 16, both from Hartlepool, are currently setting high standards at Seymour within their roles as Management Trainee apprentices. Both spend three days a week in college and two days a week with Seymour, gaining valuable skills and experience working within their chosen industry. 

Darren, a former student at English Martyrs, signed up for an apprenticeship after attending the College's open event in 2017.  He said: "I enjoyed engineering at school and I loved that there were so many aspects of the industry that you could go in to, which is why I decided to sign up for an apprenticeship. I attended the apprenticeship open evening at the College and it was brilliant to be able to talk to a range of engineering companies who were all in one room and to get a real feel for the opportunities available to me. I'm loving my apprenticeship with Seymour so far and what has been really great is that it has given me the opportunity to work with some really experienced people in the industry who can pass their knowledge down to me. The apprenticeship has also helped me build my confidence and I know that my communication skills have already improved from when I started. Those life skills are equally important to practical skills in the workplace, and you only get better at them with practice, which is what a work-based learning has given me the opportunity to do. The younger you start, the better you’ll become." 

In 2017, the College worked with Seymour Civil Engineering to make key alterations to its apprenticeship program, in order to give students an equal balance between education and work-based learning. Luke, who is a former Dyke House student, said: “Darren and I spend three days in college and two days at work which gives us a really good work college balance. It’s really useful to be able to take what you have learnt in the classroom and put it in to practice in the work environment. It’s given me a lot of self-confidence, knowing I have a theoretical understanding of everything that I’m doing at work. Our apprenticeship allows myself and Darren to get a taster of all the different areas within civil engineering, from roles on site to positions in the offices. As I wasn’t sure exactly what area of civil engineering I wanted to work in I was drawn to the idea of being able to experience working in all departments, alongside studying. It's been the perfect foot in the door as I now have a more thorough understanding of how a civil engineering company works as a whole, and I'm well ahead of other candidates my age in terms of practical skills and industry experience. Just because I’ve chosen an apprenticeship route, it hasn’t closed any doors in terms of going on to get a degree, if anything it’s made it even more accessible. I’m studying for a Level 3 currently, which can easily lead on to an HNC or a degree. Seymour has talked to us about continuing studying up to degree level if it is what is right for us. They have been incredibly supportive and encouraging." 

Both Luke and Darren agree that their apprenticeship is setting them up for a future they have always wanted. Darren said: “I was lucky enough to know that I wanted to go into the engineering industry, and my apprenticeship will set me up perfectly for a successful career in the civil engineering. But not everyone is as fortunate as me, a lot of people don’t know what they want to do and don’t know what’s out there. The College's big apprenticeship event is the perfect place for people to explore the opportunities that are out there, by engaging with companies and finding out about the openings they have available. Attending the open event could help you make a real life-changing decision. "

 

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