Following his GCSE results this week, Andrew Clayton, 16, will take up a position working in the transport providers highly skilled maintenance and technical team.
One of 10 people to secure a place on a three year apprenticeship, designed in partnership with Gateshead College, Andrew will study engineering while also earning a wage.
A high-achiever at school, Andrew felt the traditional A Level study route wasn’t for him and became one of the many post 16-year-olds now choosing vocational training to secure long-term, meaningful employment.
He said: “I had the option of going on to study A Levels at a local sixth form but I chose an apprenticeship because I am a hands-on learner. I like the fact that I am starting my career straight away, as well as gaining the skills that I’ll need to be successful in the future.”
Andrew, who was a student at Hebburn Comprehensive School, will find out his GCSE results on Thursday - already being predicted an A* in Systems and Control.
Andrew will study an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering - Rail/Railway at Gateshead Colleges’ dedicated facility, the Academy for Automotive, Engineering & Manufacture on Team Valley.
The three year programme will eventually see 30 apprentices undertake the course, with 10 new recruits taken on each year. Andrew will eventually achieve an NVQ Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering alongside gaining English, Maths and IT skills at Level 2.
In the second and third years, he will continue his studies through day release at college, building on the engineering principles gained in the first year and equipping him with advanced technical skills as he works towards an NVQ Level 3 in Railway Engineering.
Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “Our apprentice scheme offers the youngsters a chance to learn vocational skills and gain vital work place training after leaving school.
“We have committed to an initial group of ten apprentices with more to follow.
“It is vital for Nexus to recruit new apprentices top ensure we have the right skills in place to ensure that the Metro system is well looked after for many more years to come.”
Kevin Lewis, Strategy Leader for Apprenticeships at Gateshead College, said: “The college has a long history of delivering apprenticeships so it’s great to see big employers like Nexus investing in this form of workforce development.
“Apprenticeships are a viable way to ensure the future success and security of a business and there are a number of wage incentives available to employers to help cover some of the cost.
“A Levels are not the only option open to school-leavers after GCSE’s and apprenticeships are a fantastic way to build a career by gaining skills and training while earning a wage.”
More about Gateshead College apprenticeships can be found at www.gateshead.ac.uk/apprenticeships or email firstname.lastname@example.org.