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issue 04 | march 2008


WELCOME to the latest edition of W2G North West! In this months issue we take a look at a wide selection of careers ranging from engineer, research scientist, photographer and police officer to name a few. We also get to hear first hand about life as an apprentice and information on finding the perfect work placement. We have advice on healthy eating, which only applies after all your Easter eggs have been devoured. There is also the last part of our series in “The danger of drugs”, as well as all of the usual playtime reviews with the latest DVD’s, movies, games and music releases to hit the streets. Happy Easter!

Distinctive Publishing LTD 24 Lancaster Street Summerhill Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6EU T: 0191 2983571 F: 0191 2983561 John Neilson Sales Director Ewan Waterhouse Business Development Manager




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by Michael Rolf

MOVIE REVIEW Be Kind Rewind. As I expected, Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has directed another masterpiece. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of Eternal Sunshine, I could appreciate the originality and the brilliance of Gondry for having the courage to follow his idea up and turn it into a stunning feature length film. In cinemas now, ‘Be Kind Rewind’ is proving a huge success with a brilliant original script. The movie stars Mos Def (16 Blocks) who works in a small video store owned by Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon 1 - 4). Problems occur when the government try to redevelop the land the video shop sits on. Jack Black (School of Rock) plays a friend of Mos Def and wants to sabotage the local power plant, in doing so, he gets caught in some electrical equipment and becomes ‘magnetized’ which results in him erasing all of the tapes in the store. Leaving the fate of the store and all of the video tapes in the hands of Jack Black and Mos Def. I found it a great twist and a witty insight into amateur film making. With a great performance by the cast, especially Danny Glover, this film is well worth watching again, again, again...

Favourite Quotes: JB - “Have you seen Elvis lately?” JB - “I will shoot you, and i know Robot Karate!”


DVD REVIEW Good Luck Chuck Mark Helfrich, the director of the brilliant Rush Hour films, has managed to make a film that is guaranteed to have you in stitches from the opening titles to the credits. In this hilariously silly story, we see Charlie Logan (Dane Cook), a rich dentist who finds out he has a curse which he must break in order for the woman of his dreams, played by Jessica Alba (Sin City), to fall in love with him. However this curse that Charlie has isn’t exactly a curse most men would want to get rid of, especially Charlie’s best friend Stu (Dan Fogler - Balls of Fury) who thinks that Charlie is the luckiest man in the world to have the curse that makes hundreds of women sleep with him to find true love. This really is a hilarious classic men’s comedy film and is well worth buying, more for the shear brilliant performance by the incredibly witty Dan Fogler and Dane Cook who both have the audience ecstatic with laughter all the way through.

Favourite Quotes: Dane Cook: “don’t look at me on that tone of voice”.


MUSIC REVIEW Nickelback - All the Right Reasons It’s safe to say that by now people of all ages and races, have heard, and more than likely loves the massive hit single ‘Rockstar’. Following the huge success of their previous albums, such as; ‘The Long Road’ (which sold 5 million copies worldwide) and ‘Silver Side Up’, Nickelback have spawned another ‘multi-mood’ album. By this I mean that they have provided us with a great album that can be played in a range of different scenarios and atmospheres. With a wide range of sounds, some heavier rock than others, you can easily play this album quietly to relax too, or for friends and family in a party atmosphere. But most importantly, I find this album to be one of the best driving albums I’ve ever owned, I really enjoy having it on as background music, especially on long journeys. This album definitely has that certain Nickelback edge that made all of their earlier albums such a huge success, which makes them a band I’d certainly love to see live.

Favourite Tracks: Rockstar Photograph If Everyone Cared


GAME REVIEW Devil May Cry 4 Devil May Cry is back for a fourth installment, but should you bother? The game sees you play as Nero, a young knight, as well as Dante from previous outings. Taking a cinematic approach (you can watch all the cut scenes back as one continuous movie) the game plays out a storyline of standard fare: revenge, a beautiful girl and plenty of demons to kill. 
 To help you complete your mission you’ve got a massive sword, a double barrel pistol, oh and an arm that has mystic powers. 
 On either difficulty level there are plenty of enemies and those looking for a bit of a challenge will be pleased there is a good smattering of big bosses with some clever ideas and powerful attacks. As for graphics - they are stunning. Forced camera angles are clearly designed to show off the environment to its maximum, sweeping vistas, waterfalls and gory looking monsters all sit within a medieval castle landscape. Devil May Cry will continue to be a huge success and I am already looking forward to the fifth installment!!


teamwork. technology. innovative thinking They’re the kinds of things you’re surrounded by every day when you are supporting customers who are operating on the frontline of conflicts around the world.

BAE Systems, employs 96,000 people across five continents delivering advanced defence and aerospace systems for air, land and sea. Our aim is to give real advantage to the men and women of the armed forces. To achieve this we need people who can be trusted to deliver.

Imagine being Ajai Ahulwalia, the innovator who’s helping us reach new heights. “I’ve always been interested in how aeroplanes work and did Systems Engineering at Loughborough University. The course itself was part funded by BAE Systems, and I was lucky enough to get sponsored by the company throughout my degree. “During my course, I did a number of placements within Military Air Solutions. The first dealt with Unmanned Air Vehicles, which gave me a great introduction to general aircraft design. On another, I helped develop the display and controls software for Typhoon – one of the most technologically advanced fighter planes ever built. And my final placement was in Flight Test, where I worked on our hugely successful jet trainer aircraft called Hawk. “I’m now working on the Tornado F3 fighter, which we use to help develop the Typhoon. One of my key responsibilities is to liaise between the pilots and our testing specialists. “Coming to work everyday at the airfield is great – especially when you see the planes taking off. It’s pretty amazing to think that I’m helping to get such complex machines up in the air.”

Imagine being Waqas Javed the driving force behind Panther “I wanted to work in defence, so BAE Systems was a natural choice. “At first I was located in Newcastle and then in Leeds. BAE Systems helped me with relocation costs. As I had some experience of Computer Aided Design (CAD), I was glad that my first placement was on the Panther design


“ I wanted to work in defence, so BAE Systems was a natural choice ” - Waqas Javed

team. Panther is an advanced Command Vehicle with lots of communications equipment. Basically it offers field commanders the protection and technology they need to direct battles on the move. “I helped with design and drawing changes, and also did some design work of my own, which ended up being added to the vehicle. “After my time in the Panther design team, I was offered the chance to conduct reliability trials on the same vehicle. This meant working with the Army at their range in Dorset. I had responsibility for one of the vehicles, and fed all the testing data through to the Trials Manager and eventually back to the design team. I even got to put the vehicle through its paces myself. As well as testing the Panther on roads, we went cross-country, and got to get up close as the Panther fired on the range – it was a pretty exciting moment.” We can offer you a stimulating career in engineering, project management, procurement and commercial areas. Why not learn about the kinds of opportunities you can expect from the premier global name in defence and aerospace systems. Visit our website for more information.


Do you like looking good, feeling good and getting more out of life? Would you like to work for a company that helps 150 million people a day worldwide look good, feel good and get more out of life? Well that is just what Unilever does. Unilever is the company behind familiar brands such as ‘Lynx’, the ‘Dove’ range, ‘Persil’, ‘Sunsilk’, ‘Cif’, ‘Domestos’, ‘Comfort’ to list just a few of our home and personal care brands. Foods is the other half of Unilever business and the big brands here include ‘Flora’, ‘Marmite’, ‘Knorr’, ‘PG’ tea and ‘Walls’ ice creams. To make each product the best it can possibly be takes teams of chemists and engineers. The chemists really understand the formulation or recipe and have lots of great ideas on how to improve it, whilst engineers and designers work together to create eye-catching packaging. Finally process engineers work out how to make the product hundreds of times a minute on super efficient production lines. And at the end of the hard work you, and the whole team, have the satisfaction of watching the adverts on TV and seeing your product on a supermarket shelf.


It’s not just all about understanding the product itself though. Biologists research hair, teeth, skin, armpits and the sense of taste whilst psychologists and sociologists learn about how people who buy are products really use them, what they like and what they don’t like. When an advert on TV claims that a product is ‘new and improved’ it really is! One of Unilever’s centres for research and development is at Port Sunlight, Wirral. This is one of Unilever’s biggest laboratory’s where 700 scientists and engineers work on home and personal care products destined for supermarket shelves all over the World. As a scientist or engineer at Unilever you can work on the most up to date scientific challenges, with state of the art technology as part of the global team that stretches from Rio, Brazil to Shanghai, China. You can have a career in which you become an expert in a particular area of science (perhaps even becoming a visiting university professor!) or something more varied where you’ll, for example, move from Hair research to Oral Care research to Laundry research. But whatever kind of career path you opt for it will be lots of fun! For further information about all kinds of careers at Unilever visit company/careers

“When an advert on TV claims that a product is ‘new and improved’ it really is!”


A day in the life of a research scientist: Theresa Humphries. Where do I work? I work at AstraZeneca, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. We discover new medicines that aim to improve the health and quality of life of patients around the world. I have been working as a research scientist at the one of AstraZeneca’s Research and Development since 2003. I wanted to work at AstraZeneca because I liked the idea of working for a large, global company that takes care of its staff. What do you do as a research scientist?

I spend most of my time in the lab doing practical chemistry experiments. Our research work at the Charnwood site is focused on finding new medicines for respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema (diseases often associated with smoking and for which new medicines are desperately needed) as well as inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. I find it exciting that an experiment I do could eventually help discover a new medicine. Working in chemistry is a lot of fun – I love the practical nature of the job. I chose to do a chemistry career in the pharmaceutical industry because it benefits society as well as being something I really enjoy doing. It’s great to know that what I do everyday may improve the health and quality of people’s lives. Apart from doing lab experiments, I really enjoy the problem solving part of my job. There is always something new to learn, whether it is a different type of chemistry or how to use a robot to speed up my work. Of course in addition to lab work, I also have to make sure all my experimental details are written up accurately. I also spend some time each week using computer packages to look for new experiments to help our team make new molecules. .


We work in project teams of about four to seven people from a range of educational backgrounds and ages. AstraZeneca is a fun place to work and there is a really good team spirit and friendly atmosphere.

How did I get my job?

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Leicester University in 2002. During my third year of University I did a year’s placement at AstraZeneca, where I was able to find out what it’s like to work in chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry. I liked being involved in the beginning of the drug discovery process and the many different practical experiments this involves. I quickly realised I wanted to be a chemist. I need a degree to do my job as a research scientist because there is a minimum level of technical knowledge that you need to do the job well. I had to work hard at school to get into university, but it was definitely worth it. My degree taught me a range of practical skills, which were a good starting point and meant I could begin work in the lab immediately.

To find more out about AstraZeneca and the work we do developing effective medicines to fight disease in areas of medical need go to

“It’s great to know that what I do everyday may improve the health and quality of people’s lives.”


e females onboard a sea going vessels, It was once said to be bad luck to hav more women defying this myth. however we are now seeing more and a male dominant industry Maersk Although the Merchant Navy is seen as en to consider the Merchant Navy as a are actively encouraging young wom f the ranks to become Masters and Chie career, starting with a and moving up ld. mercial vessels in the wor Engineers on some of the largest com ples Nicole Fiolet and Lou Price are fine exam you; take can dedication and hard work

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of the few women My name is Nicole Fiolet and I am one I wanted to have . Navy hant Merc British the in engineers for a few months ess waitr a a career at sea after sailing as I decided that e; futur my with do to t wha while deciding y of office life oton mon this life was for me as I hated the the ship. on re sphe atmo and er and I loved the bant engineering/electroI started doing a cadetship in marine was sponsored by technical engineering and my course es I got to sail phas sea my g Maersk, meaning that durin and seeing East Far the to lling trave ship, r aine on a cont ght that thou I first At res. many different places and cultu d be woul ent onm envir d inate -dom male working in a e myself prov to er hard difficult and that I’d have to work ful in help and ly friend really were rs sailo but I found that to the rmen moto the my learning process. Everyone from was it her whet , thing some me ht Chief Engineers taug ry related. I did, safety or procedures, technical or theo g my college durin best the be to however, tried harder for Engineer prize the won I how be may s that’ and phases the prize and EST) IMAR by cadet of the year (sponsored e Society) Marin the by sored (spon olio Portf g for Engineerin Marine the g durin on Lond which I went and collected in both ive rece to zed ama was I t. Cour al Society Annu work during my these prizes, as it showed that all hard . It was a real ticed unno gone ’t hadn 3 year cadetship me. for ent evem achi er on the Maersk I now sail as an Electro-technical Offic r-Dunkerque Dove the on s Dunkerque, one of the ferrie is the same. It is day one not that fact the love I route, and I like the sense and e leng chal a hard work, but everyday is work. The s day’ hard a after get I that ent of achievem is that there e sham a is think only thing about sea life that I


job and get great are so few women. We can all do the are still scared of en wom rewards for it but I think a lot of their loved from y awa time ding spen going away and r really away from ones. To them, I can say that we’re neve great to be visiting a telephone call or an email, and it’s nt living. It makes far away places while earning a dece better... more the all s the “coming home” time

On 6th September 2007, I became Chief Officer on MV Maersk Buffalo; 9 yea rs to the day of starting as a deck cadet wit h Maersk. As Chief Officer I am responsible for the cargo and stability of the vessel, mainte nance of the deck and accommodation and the navigation of the ship between 4 and 8, mo rning and evening. Maersk Buffalo is a 4,150 TEU containership with a gross tonnage of 48853 tonnes, a length of 293.81m, breadth of 32.37m and a maximum draught of 13.50m. My interest in the sea started during summer 1995, when I sailed on board the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s ship STS Lord Nelson as a member of the voyage crew. A career at sea was not my first choice; in September 1995 I went to Leeds Metropolitan University to study Landscape Architectu re. The call of the sea continu ed and I returned to sailing on STS Lord Nelson during my holidays from university as a Bosun’s Mate. By January 1998 I had dec ided that Landscape Architecture was not the car eer for me and began to apply for positions as a deck cadet with shipping companies. At this time, 21 was considered old to become a cadet and the re were not many compan ies who were prepared to offe r me an interview. Fortuna tely this has now changed and shipping companies will tak e on ‘older’ cadets. My dec k cadetship with Maersk beg an in September 1998. A cad etship is made up of phases at both college and sea, allo wing cadets to learn the the ory at college and put it into pra ctice at sea. In July 2002 I qualified as a deck officer and since this time I have sailed on Maersk’s containerships.

was held at the shipyard. The Naming Ceremony is a deep-seated seafaring tradition where the vessel’ s Godmother breaks a bottle on the bow of the ship, nam es her and bestows good fort une on the ship and all who sail aboard her. The next stage after the nam ing ceremony was for the vessel to be put through sea trials. The trials lasted for two days and involved tak ing the ship to sea and test ing all the equipment whilst und erway. The aim is to ensure that all equipment from the main engine to toilets, and everything in between, wo rked as required. For sea trai ls the vessel was towed from the shipyard to deep water and headed up the Baltic Sea and back to Rostock. The Maersk Buffalo was offi cially handed over to the Maersk Company Ltd on 22n d June and the vessel sailed from Rostock on her maide n voyage to Kotka, Finland where she would be loaded with containers for the first time. The time in the shipyard wa s a fantastic learning experience and to be pro moted to Chief Officer on board a new ship that I stood by in the yard a real privilege. The Maersk Buffalo presently sail s between the USA and the Far East.

In May 2007 I went to the Volkswerft shipyard in Stra lsund, Germany as a 2nd Officer , to stand by the building of Volkswerft 463. The major construction work on the vessel was already comple ted and she was in the wa ter alongside the quay. Deck and Engineering Officers we re required to standby the ves sel at this time to ensure that final tests and inspect ions were completed to the required standards. The 2nd Officer is the navigation officer responsible for upd ating and maintaining the navigational folio of charts, planning of the vessel’s passages between ports, the bridge equipment and is also the vessel’s medical offi cer. Whilst in the shipyard I was involved with the insp ection of paint work in som e of the water ballast tanks (the 463 has 34 ballast tanks) and the communication and nav igation equipment on the ship’s bridge. On the 2nd June 2007 the Volkswerft 463 was named and she officially became the Maersk Buffalo, the cerem ony


n Responsibility n Variety n Security n Training n Promotion n Attractive Rates Of Pay n A Competitive Pension Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions

and we will make reasonable adjustments if required.

How old do I have to be? You can apply for the role of PC from the age of 18 onwards. However, there may be a cadet scheme in your area which you can start aged 16.

Is there a height restriction? There are no maximum or minimum restrictions.

Ever thought of becoming a police officer? Will you be ready to deal with whatever each day may bring, be it a murder, a hostage situation, giving directions, dealing with a road traffic accident – or even coaxing a cat down from a tree?

What qualifications do I need? You do not need any formal qualifications to join the police service.

Can you accept discipline, work as part of a team, make decisions on your own initiative, communicate at all levels and with people from many different backgrounds? If so, then this could be the career for you. Expecting the unexpected and being able to motivate yourself to deal with the routine as well as exciting occurrences that come along are prime objectives. Few other careers can offer the same challenges – responsibility, caring, coping under pressure, thinking on your feet but keeping your head at all times, with as much support as you need to deal with the many challenges you will face.

The recruitment process is competency based and assesses the skills and abilities required for the role of police constable. What nationality do I need to be? Currently, you must be a British citizen, a Commonwealth citizen with unrestricted right of residence in the UK. Is my health taken into account? As part of the recruitment process you will be required to demonstrate a certain level of physical fitness. You will also be required to pass a medical assessment. We welcome applications from people with disabilities

How do I find out more? You can call the Positive Action Team on 0161 856 1141or visit our website


Do you consider Equal Opportunities? We are fully committed to equal opportunities and no one should be in any doubt about our total commitment to creating a police service that reflects the diversity of our population. After all, it makes sense to have a police service that draws on and benefits from the richly diverse community we serve. Will I still be able to apply to become a police officer if I wear glasses? Glasses and contact lenses are acceptable provided your aided and unaided eyesight is within the limits of the Snellens test – your optician will be able to perform this test.

Can you accept discipline, work as part of a team, make decisions on your own initiative, communicate at all levels and with people from many different backgrounds?

If you’re planning to go to college, school sixth form or begin vocational training and are aged between 16 and 18, you could be entitled to an Educational Maintenance Allowance (or EMA for short) of up to £30 per week so that you can earn while you learn. Whatever you learn after 16, it could be your springboard to getting good training, better qualifications, a decent job and higher pay later on too. Experts have predicted that by 2010, fewer jobs will be open to people without at least five good GCSEs or the equivalent (such as an NVQ Level 2). So the more qualifications you get, the more choice and earning potential you’ll have. EMA is available for a range of vocational and academic courses, including Level 2 diplomas in a wide variety of subjects including Fashion Retail, Engineering, Aerobic Instruction and Business, GCSE retakes and A levels. Funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), EMA payments are intended to help relieve the pressure on you whist you continue in learning. They provide that extra bit of income that can cover the day-to-day costs you have to meet when you stay on at school or college. The money’s paid directly into your bank account, so once it’s there you can use it to pay for whatever you like - such as travel costs and equipment for your course. The amount you receive is calculated by looking at how much money is coming into your household. To qualify, your


household income must be no higher than £30,810 (tax year 07/08). This amount does not include any money you earn from part time work and EMA does not affect any other household benefits your parents may receive. John Korzeniewski, Regional Director for the LSC in the North West concluded, “It’s important to recognise the difference that EMA can make whilst deciding whether to continue in learning – we’re always urging young people to take advantage of EMA. It is really easy to apply for EMA and what takes just a few minutes could make a huge difference to you, not only over the next few years, but for the rest of your life.” William Hiscock has been receiving EMA whilst studying for his diploma Motor Vehicle Technology, he comments “Without EMA, I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere. EMA is a huge help when buying tools and driving lessons. When I first started my course it was great motivation to attend lessons – but now I mainly spend it on things for college anyway as that is where it is most needed.” To find out if you are eligible to receive an EMA visit or call the EMA helpline on 0800 121 8989.

The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) has today announced that Victoria Nicholson, age 20 from Colchester has scooped the 2007 IET Young Woman Engineering Apprentice of the Year award. Victoria beat hundreds of applicants to claim the title which recognises the skills and achievements of apprentices and also to raise awareness of the value of an apprenticeship route into engineering and technology careers. An advanced apprentice with BT, Victoria works in BT Wholesale in a team responsible for managing capacity within the switch telephone network. In just over two years Victoria has become an essential member of her team and has ownership of various tasks such as planning and creating certain processes in BT’s 21st Century Network. Victoria also has responsibility for managing the development training within her operational team. Judges of the award were particularly impressed with Victoria’s drive and ambition to promote apprenticeships to others. Victoria was nominated by a number of senior staff to appear in advertisements for BT’s Apprentice Attraction Campaign which aims to recruit more female apprentices into BT. Victoria also represents more than 300 BT Wholesale apprentices as an Apprentice Network Committee Member which involves supporting fellow apprentices, creating website content and arranging educational, social and charity events. Robin McGill, chief executive of the IET said: “The IET is committed to raising awareness of the value of apprenticeships, particularly as the engineering sector is currently facing skills shortages. Victoria is a wonderful role model for other young women considering entering the profession through the apprenticeship route and I wish her all the very best for the future.” In addition to supporting fellow apprentices in BT, Victoria is also actively involved in visiting schools and careers fairs to talk to other young women about apprenticeships. Victoria will receive a cheque for £500 and an engraved trophy at the BT Centre, London presented by scientist and TV personality Dr Maggie Aderin. The IET Young Woman Engineering Apprentice Award is part of the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award which aims to highlight the shortage of female engineers in the UK.



Victoria is a wonderful role model for other young women...



When I have been asked why I chose to study chemistry at university, least of all to use my degree in my career choice, I cannot provide a ready answer. I suppose I was influenced by my elder brother and sister who chose chemistry and dentistry respectively. That said, I was always interested in cooking (which has plenty of similarities to chemistry) but my parents thought that was not academic enough for me to pursue and so I followed a scientific course and graduated in 1995 with a degree in chemistry. I started my career at Oldbury in the West Midlands as a research and development chemist with Albright & Wilson. I developed a two-stage process to manufacture a phosphonic acid derivative, which was piloted successfully and a patent published. After 12 months I was looking for something new to get my teeth into as well as a return to the North West in order to pursue my other career as a rugby league referee. I moved to Albright &Wilson’s Widnes factory, initially on a six-month secondment. My position was made permanent and I became the site’s technical support chemist. I worked at reducing downtime on our crystals plant and improving efficiencies on our sodium hexametaphosphate furnaces. I also spent a number of weeks on shifts helping to commission the brand new food blends plant, which led to me becoming closely involved with introducing new products to that plant, a significant area of growth for the site. Albright &Wilson supported me in studying for a post graduate diploma in environmental management and my immediate manager acted as my mentor to become a chartered chemist and member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. They also encouraged me to become involved in activities with local schools and I gave numerous talks on the chemical industry and chemistry in general. For a number of years I acted as a speaker for the CIA’s Speak Out and Listen programme and for the Understanding Industry (now Business Dynamics) organisation. I was a finalist in the North West Chemical Industries Association young person of the year award, but I think my preference to talk about my other career as a rugby league referee rather put the judges off!


I have always enjoyed chemistry, and continue to do so Working on a small site (around 150 employees) meant taking on more than just a narrowly defined set of responsibilities. When I was promoted to Quality Control Manager I introduced new technologies to the lab and I involved my analysts in several other areas e.g. COSHH monitoring, noise surveys, environmental management, etc. I moved across Widnes in 2001 to Tessenderlo to a role as the Lab Manager. The move meant a change of chemistry from inorganic to organic and the process technologies used were very different to those I had previously been used to. In fact the techniques employed in the laboratory were completely different from Albright &Wilson – something else to learn from scratch! The chemical industry covers a vast array of products and processes so there is always something new to experience. I have now moved into quality assurance, no longer working in a laboratory on a day-to-day basis. Thor is a very successful company and I first became aware of them as one of Tessenderlo’s customers. They continue to support my activities working in local schools and colleges. I have always enjoyed chemistry, and continue to do so. The products from the industry can be found everywhere, from the food on your plate to the materials that make up the high tech devices of the modern digital age. Thor’s products go into many everyday items such as shampoos, shower gels, paints and fabrics, things we all take for granted. In 1995 I could not have known that I would end up in a quality assurance role. As has been common with all the positions I have held, it is not a narrowly defined role I also deal with, inter alia, waste management and the environmental management system. I am happy to put my mind to anything that needs to be done. I have sometimes felt a little bit like a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’, but to add one further cliché, ‘variety is the spice of life’! Tim Brierley Thor


These stunning photos were taken by Danny Stears, at the age of 16 - just a selection of many that he took for the Open University short course in digital photography whilst studying for his AS courses in Maths, Physics, French and Geography. Why did you choose this course? It was different to all the subjects that I was studying in college. And I had really begun to develop an interest in photography and I wanted to take my interest a bit further. Was the level of the course what you expected? To be perfectly honest it was easier than I expected, the course was centred around a lot of skills and techniques that I already knew. For me, it was more about learning how to use and apply these skills, and it worked, I think! How does the course work? The course was set out in a weekly fashion, with a different topic each week, and an assignment to go with each topic. The weekly timescale was only a guide and practically all the material was available from the beginning, so you were free to work through it at your own pace. This was very helpful, as I had other work to be do as well. If I could not do very much work one week, I would catch up the next. Was there anything that you particularly liked about the course? There are only two deadlines during the 10-week


course - I enjoyed working through at my own pace, being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted. I also enjoyed giving feedback on other people’s images through the Open Studio system. The interactive nature of the course meant that you commented on other people’s work and got the opinions of people who were interested. It was good to get honest feedback as it helped me to review both my own and other people’s work critically and inevitably my work improved. Do you need a special camera? No just a very basic one, although you may struggle a little with a pinhole camera! What do want to do in the future?.. I would like to go to university to study Geography (probably human Geography). Although I really enjoy my photography, I do not see it as a possible future career, just as a hobby, at the moment anyway. I do not currently have a firm idea of what I would like to do as a career, I am just sticking with the subjects I enjoy and I will see where it takes me. Any other advice? Go for it! I had never really thought about taking a course online before, but I found it a very interesting experience. Even if you think your life is already hectic, I am

sure that you could fit in the time for this or one of the many other short courses that the OU offers. Then if you take the course, make sure that you at least attempt everything and sample all the different sections of the OU website, it will make the course that little bit more rewarding. Danny studied digital photography as part of the Open University YASS scheme. You too can do University level short courses alongside your AS and A2s. You enrol with the OU through your college or school. There are short courses in topics on science, including Human Genetics, Medicines and Drugs, Life in the Oceans, Robotics, Astronomy and Cosmology and in the arts subjects like Writing Plays, Poems or Fiction as well as digital photography. Go to the website to find out more Then get on touch with your head of sixth form or personal tutor and ask them to contact


The National Skills Academy for Nuclear is a new organisation which has been developed by nuclear employers to aid in the training of people in the nuclear sector. The Skills Academy works with employers and partner organisations to ensure that the nuclear industry has the skills and resources it needs to remain a World-Class industry. One of the main concerns of nuclear employers is that statistics show the number of people choosing to study Science each year remain relatively the same, and with the announcement by Government in January of new nuclear build, the nuclear industry will need an increase in new recruits. Initial estimates show that over the next 10 years the nuclear sector will need… n Between 5900 – 9700 Graduates n 2,700 – 4,500 Skilled Trades n 300% increase in Apprenticeships So we thought that we would work with our partner organisations to provide you with further information on what the nuclear sector has to offer. What Can the Nuclear Industry Offer? David Docherty is a young engineer who at the age of 16 joined Westinghouse, Springfields Fuels Limited, who are based in Preston, Lancashire. On starting his apprenticeship David chose to train in the mechanical trades. The Apprentice Training Scheme is run


by Springfields and is accredited by EAL (EMTA Awards Ltd). David pursued an Advanced Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering Maintenance, the framework of which is NVQ level 2 engineering skills, key skills i.e. IT, communications, application of numbers, working with others and improving own learning, NVQ level 3 engineering skills and a technical certificate. He displayed consistently good performances throughout his apprenticeship and had placements with a number of supervisors and managers, each of which gave encouraging reports on his ability and future potential. David said “I chose to do an apprenticeship because I preferred to continue training whilst working full time. I knew I would gain valuable experience as well as good academic qualifications’’. His academic work has matched his engineering progress during his time at Springfields and he has achieved the technical certificate, a National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, with distinctions, and went on to achieve the Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. David was awarded the apprentice fourth year prize for the Mechanical trades and also the Guild Trophy as Apprentice of the Year 2005. David’s craft and academic achievements enabled the Company to offer full-time employment on completion of his apprenticeship and the opportunity to study part-time for an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering. On completion of the apprenticeship, Springfields

recognised David’s aspirations to progress and placed him into the Company Graduate Scheme, awarding him a part-time training concession to study for an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University. Now in his second year David continues to develop and broaden his experience of the site. He has experienced placements in a number of different production areas on the graduate scheme, in rotating placements. He is supported by the Skills Development Team, and mentored by one of the Company’s Senior Engineers. On each placement his progress is reviewed and discussed to ensure that he is obtaining the appropriate development, which will also ensure development of behavioural skills as well as his technical ability. In 2006, David was one of only eight young engineers in the UK to receive a Whitworth Scholarship. On completion of his degree David will become a full scholar and will be eligible to enter the Whitworth Society. The title of Whitworth Scholar has been borne by many distinguished engineers and the prestige of the Award is extremely high. It highlights young engineers who are expected to be high achievers in their chosen careers. The Awards date back to the mid-nineteenth century when Sir Joseph Whitworth, who owned a successful tool-making business in Manchester, approached Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli with the offer to fund annual scholarships to help young engineers further their education and training. Today the Awards are still available to outstanding young engineers who can demonstrate academic excellence with the practical and personal qualities to succeed in industry. The Scholarship and Award provided David with financial support towards the cost of studying for his degree. As an Award winner, David is entitled to use the title ‘Whitworth Scholar’ with the designatory letters ‘Wh. Sch.’ He is also entitled to become a member of the celebrated Whitworth Society. David has also been involved in other activities and his development has included roles such as the secretary to the Site’s joint union and management partnership meetings. Who Are Springfields Fuels Ltd? Springfields is the site of the UK’s nuclear fuel manufacturing operations and has been making fuel and products for reactors in the UK and overseas for over 60 years. The site has the technology to manufacture fuel for all major designs of nuclear reactors worldwide.

Most of the fuel requirements for the UK’s nuclear power stations are met by Springfields and around 15% of all the electricity generated in the UK comes from power stations using nuclear fuel manufactured at Springfields. Ownership of the site has changed several times over the years and in 2005 responsibility for the assets & liabilities of the site transferred to a new UK Government body, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The NDA is a public body whose purpose is to oversee and manage the clean-up and decommissioning of the nuclear sites under its responsibility. A new company, Springfields Fuels Limited, was created to run the site, which continues to be managed and operated by Westinghouse Electric UK Ltd on the NDA’s behalf. Find out what the Nuclear Industry Can Offer You? If you are interested in a career in Nuclear – there is a dedicated website which shows all the roles in the nuclear industry- including where the job fits into the organisation, the work area, the key responsibilities, and the typical day to day duties the postholder will be expected to carry out. Education and qualification requirements are also set out-and of course the salaries! The National Skills Academy for Nuclear, in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority &Serco / SBB Nuclear, launched a bursary programme in January 2008. The value of the Bursary can be up to £4,000 for your programme of study, and will be awarded to quality individuals on programmes of study relevant to the Nuclear industry, and includes Foundation Degrees, Honours Degrees and Masters Degrees. For more information visit Have your say for the chance of winning a Playstation3… Cogent have asked employers what they want from you so that you can make the best choice about your future. Now, they would like to hear what you think of our industries, and about your experience of learning science, technology engineering and maths. Cogent SSC Ltd: the Sector Skills Council for Chemicals, Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Petroleum and Polymers. Go to: While your there why not Access All Areas with the new interactive game, which will take you behind the scenes for the Nuclear and other Cogent industries!


Our vision is simple… To be a world class operator of utility infrastructure.

Focusing on our core skills within water, wastewater, electricity and gas, we will sometimes own but always operate utility assets. Who we are, what we do n Operating water, wastewater, electricity and gas networks n Investing £3.5 billion between 2005-2010 to improve our utility infrastructure and the environment

Every minute…

We treat 1.3 million litres of wastewater for our UK customers

Every hour…

We invest £85,000 improving our capital infrastructure

Every day…

We are working to improve our 20,000 hectares of land through our Sustainable Catchment Management Programme

Every second…

n Providing utility services to over 20 million people in the UK and worldwide

We serve 20 million customers in the UK and overseas

n Working in the UK, Eastern Europe, the Philippines and Australia

We receive over 150,000 visits to our website:

n A FTSE-100 company with annual turnover of over £2 billion, employing 9,000 people

Every week…


Every month…

We invest over £57,000 in community projects

When I left school I didn’t fancy any of the college courses on offer and wanted to get a job but I wanted to get more qualifications too. I applied to my local training provider, Manchester Training, and they placed me in a job as a Warehouse Operative at Express Parcels, on an Apprenticeship programme. I really enjoy the Apprenticeship and it helped me to settle into the work environment after being at school. Getting my Fork Lift Truck licence was great and it gave me specific job skills which helped my confidence in the early days. I use those skills all the time now and would recommend an Apprenticeship to anyone. There’s quite a lot of responsibility involved in my job, as I use a fork lift truck to load heavy pallets onto trucks, move parcels around the warehouse and make sure everything is stored in the right way. Health & Safety is a big part of my job and the Apprenticeship has helped me to be more aware of dangers and know how to take responsibility for my work. My boss is great and is very supportive but I also have the extra support of my Training Advisor who I can ask if I have any questions. Sometimes I prefer to ask him rather than admit to my boss if I don’t understand something. He visits me at work once a month and I can call him if ever I need extra help. All the training is based on my work so it’s relevant and there are no exams so I find it less stressful than school. I have to provide evidence of what I have learned and I find doing this strengthens my know-how and skills more than a written test would. I think I’m better off than my friends who went to college – I get the training and a recognised qualification but I get paid too. Plus I get treated as an adult at work, whereas some of my friends feel like they’re still at school. There’s more training I can do after this. I can progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship and then I’d like to become a Supervisor or a Fork Lift Truck Instructor so I can train people who are just like me. If you are interested in becoming an apprentice in any area, get further advice from your careers advisor, or go to www. Oliver is employed by Express Parcels and his Training Provider is Manchester Training.

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What is surveying?

It’s the collective name for a group of careers with certain skills in common. In fact, chartered surveyors offer knowledge, skills and advice all around the world, on a surprisingly wide range of property issues. Not just on valuing people’s homes, but on major construction projects, farm property management, surveying the sea bed and even valuing 20th century collectables. Plus much, much more…

What is Quantity Surveying?

Quantity surveyors manage the costs of construction projects from initial design plans right through to the building’s completion. They also deal with the maintenance, renovation and demolition costs of buildings and facilities once they are in use.

Their main priority is to make sure that projects meet legal and quality standards and that clients get good value for money.

Why become a Chartered Quantity Surveyor? n

Because it is a great profession with a global perspective. If you have an eye for detail, enjoy problem solving and are interested in the built environment then read on…

n Because it is a secure profession. Demand for Chartered Quantity Surveyors currently exceeds supply and this shortage is forecast to continue. n

Because the financial rewards are considerable. The shortage of Chartered Quantity Surveyors means that there are plenty of opportunities for graduates to enter the profession. Once in the profession salary surveys have shown that, on average, Chartered Surveyors earn 15% more than their non chartered equivalents, with average starting salaries as much as £24,000 rising to 35,000 in five years.


Because it’s a varied and fun career. Chartered Quantity Surveyors are able to combine desk based work with opportunities to visit external premises and construction sites, and many are currently involved in the preparation for the Olympics in 2012.

n Because it offers great work life balance. No two days are the same and you won’t be sitting behind a desk all day.

Why bother with “Chartered”?

If you want to be the best surveyor possible, then you need to be chartered. The best professionals like doctors or lawyers all belong to a relevant organisation just for them. Doctors to the British Medical Association and lawyers to the Law Society.

RICS is a global organisation with: n n n n n

140 000 members worldwide 30 000 student members 500 RICS accredited degree courses 170 different specialist skills covered 138 years of representing surveyors

Employers and clients recognise ‘Chartered’ as the mark of quality within the profession. Chartered status is the gateway to numerous job and career opportunities.

What do I need to become a Chartered Quantity Surveyor? n

Most new entrants pass a university degree on an RICS accredited course. They then undertake a two year post graduate structured training programme which provides the practical work experience required to supplement academic knowledge. Chartered status is achieved at the end of this period upon successful completion of the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). Stretching yourself to achieve Chartered status is probably the best investment you

will make in your career, both in monetary terms and professional status.


There are also alternative routes to entry for mature candidates, holders of degrees that are not accredited by RICS and for candidates who do not have sufficient “A” level points to enrol on an RICS Accredited course.

For more information on entry routes please visit our website at For more information on Quantity Surveying and Construction visit – For more information on Chartered Quantity Surveyors please visit our web-site at

Elsie North | Trainee surveyor | Faithful + Gould.

How did you become interested in surveying? I wanted to go to university but didn’t want the debt that went along with it. At a careers event at school I came across the CSTT, Chartered Surveyors Training Trust, a charity which funds and assists candidates through training on a day release programme. I did some research into building surveying and quantity surveying, and what attracted me was how much influence the surveyor has on a project and how the job can vary from company to company, making every day different. I’m currently a trainee quantity surveyor, based in my company’s new office in Canary Wharf. What do you enjoy most about your career in surveying? Following a project from start to finish, watching it develop and solving problems along the way. It’s a great feeling when a project finishes and you can see all your hard work and time spent in the final result. What interesting projects have you been involved in as surveyor? Working with a high profile pharmaceutical company, which then led to another project for them. It involved the disposal of 12,000 assets and preparing a vast site to be sold on. I have also just started work on the refurbishment of a building for an Oil company, which involves controlling the cost of the project. What are your career ambitions? I am currently studying at Lewisham College doing a national certificate in construction, and at the same time I am doing an NVQ in surveying support. Once I have completed my NC I will go on to study a HNC in construction at South Bank University. I’ll be Tech RICS qualified by then, and will study for my accredited degree. Once that’s done I will do my APC and become chartered MRICS.

The Regional Language Network North West has begun delivery of its innovative Business Language Champions project across the region, identifying businesses where language skills are valued and promoted, and creating sustainable partnerships between business and education around the subject of languages. The programme, initiated by CILT - the National Centre for Languages and supported by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, also aims to highlight growing concerns over the availability of good language skills in the UK. Business Language Champions will be put in touch with a local school and meet pupils to discuss the real benefits of languages in the working world, as well as having pupils visit the company premises and perhaps work on a languages-related practical task.

Dr Cristina Sousa, managing director, Regional Language Network


An already-confirmed Business Language Champion is Smith & Smith PR, a public relations agency based in Manchester city centre that actively recruits staff with language skills and also funds ongoing language training for its employees. With 40% of its full-time staff fluent in at least one European language aside from English - the business has French, German, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew in-house - the agency sees language skills as important from the recruitment stage onwards. “If we interview a graduate with competency in another language, this tells us that they’re probably good communicators who understand language and what it can do,” says managing director Nathan Smith. “If candidates have studied languages from school onwards, they’re likely to be better at grammar, which is an important skill in PR and one which we unfortunately find is increasingly rare in the general talent pool. Candidates with languages

Charlotte Cornwell

Nathan Smith, MD, Smith & Smith PR Ltd

are also likely to have been exposed to a different culture through travel or extended study abroad, which we find makes for much more rounded employees.” One of the agency’s PR executives, Charlotte Cornwell, landed a job at Smith & Smith straight after graduating from Manchester University, with her language skills playing a deciding factor – Charlotte studied American and Latin American Studies with Spanish, and has fluent Spanish plus the cultural experience of two extended study trips to Madrid and Puebla, Mexico. Since focussing more closely on language skills at the recruitment stage and encouraging staff to learn new languages, with funding and time in lieu offered by the company, the business has been able to win work that will see them deliver high quality pan-European PR campaigns, placing them ahead of competitors in international PR. Smith & Smith’s clients now include Brulimar, one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of licensed glasses frames, for whom the agency have been delivering a tailored campaign into the French optical trade media amongst others. Account manager Susan Tonge, who is fluent in French, has travelled to Paris on solo press trips for the client and has been involved in Brulimar’s trade shows worldwide.

Regional Language Network North West is now looking for potential Business Language Champions across the region and across sectors. “We see the Business Language Champions initiative as one which will have real sustainability,” says Dr Cristina Sousa, managing director of the Regional Language Network North West. “We see it as a project with great twoway potential for young people and businesses; students meet real-life business people and hear about languages ‘from the horse’s mouth’ as it were, while the businesses themselves gain insight into how the education system can help them to tap into vital language skills.” For more information about Business Language Champions or how to get involved, call Dr Cristina Sousa at Regional Language Network North West on 0161 932 1035. Websites: Regional Language Network North West: CILT: Smith & Smith PR Ltd.:


There are many exciting and rewarding careers available in engineering. Here is a brief overview of just a small sample of these jobs and what qualifications and skills you need to pursue these careers.



Responsible for producing the goods on time. You need to understand the machines and the technology, and the jobs of all production staff. A creative mind also helps, so that snags can be quickly solved.

If you haven’t actually designed and built the manufacturing system, you certainly have the knowledge and expertise to keep it running efficiently, and fix it if it goes wrong.

Key skills: Problem solving, people management, working to deadlines, some understanding of engineering.

Key Skills: Scientific understanding, plus practical, hands-on ability with machines. A problem-solver.

Works closely with: Manufacturing engineer, Maintenance engineer, HR department. Qualifications: No specific requirements. While this is often a degree-level position, many production managers have worked their way up through a firm they joined with a few good GCSEs.

Works closely with: Production manager, Maintenance Engineer, HR department Qualifications: Most have a degree or higher level qualification in engineering Relevant school subjects: Maths, ICT and science essential. Design and technology always useful.

Relevant school subjects: Maths, technology, business studies and ICT are all useful. Salary bracket: £18,500 to over £50,000


Salary Bracket: £23,000 to over £50,000



Day to day responsibility for looking after the machines in the factory, so that they run safely and efficiently.

The creative brains behind new products, you’ll take an initial idea through sketches and computer images, to models, testing and full production.

Key Skills: Comfortable with machines, attention to detail, problem solving. Works closely with: All production department staff and management. Qualifications: Some have degree level engineering qualifications; others have picked up the necessary knowledge and skills by first hand experience in factories. Relevant school subjects: Maths, ICT, science and design and technology all useful.

Salary bracket: £16,000 to £40,000

Key Skills: An inquiring mind, especially into how things work; technical and practical skills, an ability to explain your ideas to others in words and images. Works closely with: R & D and production departments. Qualifications: Most have a degree or HNC/HND in an engineering, technology or design discipline Relevant school subjects: Science, design and technology, maths.

Salary bracket: £15,000 to £45,000 NWAA is a patron of the The Manufacturing Institute’s Make It campaign which aims to help attract the brightest and best new talent into engineering and manufacturing. NWAA would like to thank The Manufacturing Institute for providing this career information. For more information about the range of exciting and rewarding careers that manufacturing and engineering can offer you check out The Manufacturing Institute’s website


“I’m looking forward to travelling around the world and excited about the new challenges ahead”. Like many young people, embarking on a new career can be a daunting experience - so when Joe Greenwood from Carlisle set out to join the Army, he was ready to throw caution to the wind and check out what working for the British Army was all about. Two years on, 18 year-old Joe now serves for the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and has enjoyed it so much that he has even taken part in the Satisfied Soldier Scheme that has been set up to allow young people to get a real insight into the experiences and career opportunities the British Army has to offer. Joe has used the scheme to talk one-on-one to other young people also interested in joining the Army. Born and bred in Carlisle, Joe attended St Aidan’s High School. He has completed both phases of the combat infantry man course at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick (ITC). This involved activities such as first aid, personal fitness training and learning the Army’s core values and standards. He has also had the opportunity to attend an assault pioneer course at the Royal Engineers Training Regiment, Camberley in Surrey. Whilst on this course he was able


to learn skills such as minefield construction, clearing and demolitions. Joe has also passed the Land Rover driving test and regularly takes part in sporting activities with the Army boxing team. High flying Joe one day hopes to become a section commander for the British Army. He is also looking forward to his tour later on in the year when he travels to Belize and Cyprus for further training. Joe commented: “The Army is incredibly supportive in all areas of training and personal development - there is so much I have learned during my time serving in the Duke of Lancaster Regiment – I’m looking forward to travelling around the world and excited about the new challenges ahead”. For further information about the careers on offer with the British Army Visit

We’ve all done it, me included, made a decision, gone steamrolling ahead with it and then realised that we’ve made the wrong choice.....but how can we turn a negative decision or choice into a positive one? As many of you finish your studies and embark on the path of earning a crust, it’s hard to work out which of the ideas that you have crammed into your heads is the right choice for you, and more importantly, how do you know what is right, when your options are wide and varied and your experience is little? The tourism and hospitality industry is full of people who might think that their lifelong ambition is to be, for example, a chef, only to start working in a kitchen and find out that they literally can’t stand the heat! This is when a stint on a work placement can help you get a chance to experience what life in the working world is really like and hopefully, help you to determine which career is right for you or conversely which is wrong. The Mersey Partnership (TMP), the tourist board for Merseyside works with local employers to encourage them to take students on work placement and is a placement provider in their own right. Nicola Orme came to TMP whilst studying for her Foundation Degree in Tourism and Hospitality at Liverpool Community College. She told us: “I started working on a placement at TMP a couple of days a week but soon discovered that I really didn’t like working behind the scenes. I missed the interaction with people and realised that what I really wanted to do was work front of house. “The work experience opportunity helped me make a decision about my career and stopped me making the wrong decision. Finding out that I loved working with people changed my focus and I am now working as a receptionist at the Crowne Plaza hotel and absolutely love my job. “I learnt a very valuable lesson; that it’s OK to choose one path and if necessary crossroad onto another if it’s not what you want”.


The tourism and hospitality industry can be known as somewhat fickle, with many people jumping from one organisation to another in search of better pay, terms and conditions. Often the demand for staff in tourism and hospitality can exceed suitable applicants; perhaps in today’s society the use of such schemes of this kind are required more than ever? Anthony Clegg took on his two-week, school, work experience placement at Julian’s Restaurant, a small, family-run place on the Wirral as he really wanted to be a chef. After completing two weeks, he secured himself a part-time job in their kitchens and although he worked for them for six-months in total, his enthusiasm for the job waned and he decided the job was not for him after all. He is now looking into a career in the police force. Julian, the restaurant owner told us: “When Anthony originally came to us, he impressed us with his broad knowledge of not only our business, but the restaurant trade on the whole. He had really done his research and we were impressed with his enthusiasm. “Anthony was an asset to our business, we put him through his paces in the first two weeks and were so impressed we offered him a part time job. “Although he doesn’t work for us anymore, (he loved the creativity of the kitchen, but not the less glamorous parts of the job, like washing-up etc.) it was a great learning curve for him and he even recommended us for an award at the Wirral Star Employers Award in the under-16’s category, where we were runners-up”. “He told us that he thought his choices were limited and that he was being encouraged by his school to take a position in Sainsbury’s, but that he preferred to try his hand in the kitchens. Karen Illingworth, Tourism Skills Development Manager

at the Mersey Partnership explains why work experience is so important: “With so many job opportunities on offer it can be difficult for young people to really work out which way to go, particularly if they have different career ideas in mind. Work placements give them the chance to experience a work environment without making a major commitment; equally they might gain a work placement in a job area they had not thought of before and find that they love it. Whatever happens they should give it their best shot and remember that employers are busy people with a business to run.

A few useful tips Be courteous and pleasant even if you don’t like the placement you are in, a bad attitude does you no favours Turn up on time and be suitably dressed Be prepared to work the hours of the business and do your best whilst you are there Be prepared to do simple jobs – you don’t have any experience so are not going to get the best jobs in the house Try to get the most out of it rather than see it as an inconvenience To find out more about career opportunities in travel, tourism, leisure and hospitality contact Suzanne Chilvers, Careers Manager at Springboard on: 0151 252 4539 Work experience placements are needed for students at local schools, colleges and universities. School age students are required to engage in at least one weeks work experience during Key stage 4 - Years 10 or 11, when they are aged 14-16. All of the Further Education colleges in Merseyside provide realistic working environments within their own premises such as college restaurants, catering and leisure facilities, but in addition to this they too need industry-based work placements. Both Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University offer tourism related courses which require work experience placements.


Should you go from school into work, college or university or maybe you would prefer a more hands on approach of working and learning? Equally you may not be sure what career is for you. So how do you decide what may be the right way for you? Traditionally information has been available through careers advice and guidance, books and leaflets, and although interesting, they hardly gave you a thrilling insight into your possible career options. Now there is a new way. The Jaguar Land Rover Education Centre, located at the factory at Halewood, gives young people the opportunity to come and visit their site and see the world of work. Educational visits to the factory involve the students touring the plant, meeting the employees and seeing the factory in operation. These visits can be linked to courses being studied, so what is the benefit? The Halewood plant is home to two models, the Jaguar X-Type and the Land Rover Freelander and as you tour the site, a fascinating trip in its own right, the education centre staff will explain not only the process of building a car, but also all the different trades and careers within the organisation. As Marion Thomas the Education Centre Manager explains: “The plant is really like a small town that builds cars. We have all kinds of people working here, scientists, engineers, robotic, IT and logistic experts. We also have staff who are doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, accountants, and plumbers as well as the production staff. Having such a diverse workforce allows the students to meet people and chat with them and explore the routes they have followed in their career. Some of the plant’s engineers began their career working on the production line and then through day release and evening study they have worked their way up through the company. Equally we can arrange for them to meet with graduate entrants and learn about university and graduate routes into employment.”


The tours are a great way for students to see the real world of work, many have expressed surprise at just how high-tech, and clean modern manufacturing is, and after a visit have revaluated their career ideas. For those students who may have a clearer idea of the area they would like to work in, the centre runs a work experience and placement programme for those who want to spend longer in the plant, and also provides work related learning for the Young Apprentice programme These programmes give the students additional time with company employees and allows then to sample not only working life, but also to shadow the individual and learn about what their job actually entails on a day to day basis. If you or your group would like to arrange a visit to the Halewood plant, then please contact the Jaguar Land Rover Education Centre on 0151 448 3231 for further information.


The plant is really like a small town that builds cars

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THIS time last year, when Jessica Houghton, 17, was trying to decide between college or looking for a job, she had no idea how the future would turn out. At school her specialist subject had always been media. But she had no idea that interest would eventually lead her to a stint in TV’s famous black chair. “I’ve been working on Mastermind!” confides Jess, who is one of only 20 media apprentices, chosen to take part in the UK’s firstever Advanced Apprenticeships in Media Production. Designed specifically for people who wouldn’t usually get the chance to work in TV, some of the biggest names in TV, including the BBC, ITV Granada, Lime Pictures and the Red Production Company, joined forces to offer 16-22-year-olds the chance to take part in this first-ever media apprenticeship scheme. Devised by Northwest Vision and Media, which works on behalf of the TV, film and digital content industries, together with Skillset, BECTU and the Learning and Skills Council, nearly 300 Northwest young people originally applied for the apprenticeship scheme. Starting in September 2007, Jess and her fellow trainees spent the first three months of their apprenticeships at college, studying for an Industry Induction Certificate. During her time at college, Jess was put in touch with an industry mentor, Christine Kenrick, a BBC Entertainment Talent Manager. They met every two weeks to talk about Jess’ progress, and it was Christine who helped Jess secure her first placement at the BBC. “I couldn’t believe it when I was asked to work on Mastermind,” confides Jess. “I’d watched the programme before, but suddenly I was actually working within the Entertainment Department that produces it. “I’ve done so much in the time I’ve been here,” she says. “To start with I sat in on the contestant auditions and took notes, then I did general admin tasks, putting contestant packs together, and now I’m currently helping to find new audiences for the programmes they’re recording in March.

“I’ve even done some research and writing the questions for the Mastermind online quiz. And I’ve watched every single episode recorded, so I know all the answers to all the questions – I’ll be able to show off when it’s eventually broadcast!” And it’s not just Mastermind that Jess is now an expert on. “I got to work on Crimewatch for a day,” she explains. “I had to meet and greet the actors who were taking part in the reconstructions, help them fill in forms and take their photograph, then I watched the auditions and even helped the director choose which actors to use.” The Mastermind placement has certainly broadened Jess’ awareness of the industry, showing her just how many opportunities there are. At school she’d done a BTEC first diploma in media, which included some editing/post-production, and which she’d really enjoyed. And at college, when the apprentices were asked to make a short film, she opted to edit it, rather than getting involved in pre-production. “But since I’ve come here and done Mastermind, I’m becoming really interested in pre-production. It’s really opened my eyes to all the other possibilities out there,” she confides. After another stint in college, then a two-week break, Jess will start her second placement after Easter at Sumners in Whitworth Street, Manchester, where she’ll be able to further explore her interest in editing. In all, she’ll complete five placements during the 18-month apprenticeship.

Most people don’t, and many talk up what they’ve really done. So how do you know what’s fact and what’s fiction? Welcome to the final installment of ‘think everyone takes drugs?’. W2G thanks to will provide you with the lowdown on lots of the more commonly used legal and illegal drugs. We will tell you about the effects and their risks and also give you information on other things to do with drug use that you might find interesting. Like what to do if you’re worried about a mate. Or what happens if you mix drugs. We will also look at people who have been there, done that. And details on where to go for help and advice so that, when it comes to drugs, you know the score.

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Young adults’ bodies have very demanding nutritional requirements because of physical and mental development that you go through from about the age of 12. At this age you also have much more control over what you eat than you did as a child, so make sure you know what your body needs, it will affect the way your body and brain develop. Think of food as fuel for your body. You need to put in the right sorts of fuel in the right amounts to get the optimum performance out of your body. This together with regular exercise will give you more energy, control your weight and even make you concentrate better.


If you want to have a healthy diet try to:

Healthy diet for vegetarians

n Increase the amount of cereals and starchy foods such as wholemeal bread, rice, noodles, cereals, potatoes and pasta

It is perfectly healthy to eat a vegetarian, or even a vegan (no animal products whatsoever) diet, providing you make up for the nutrients from animal products that you miss out on through other foods.


Increase the amount of Fruit and vegetables in your diet it helps set you up for a healthier lifestyle. Best of all, there is so much variety to choose from, all year long, there’s enough to keep even the fussiest eaters happy.


Get the best health benefits, your 5 A DAY portions should include a combination of a variety of fruit and vegetables. That’s 5 portions altogether, not 5 portions of fruit and 5 portions of veg.

n Eat more regular, smaller meals rather than snacking

Red meat, fish and poultry are the main sources of protein. As a vegetarian, you need to eat more alternative sources of protein such as milk, cheese, eggs and pulses like lentils and beans. You also need to make sure you are taking in enough iron. The main non-meat sources of iron are pulses, cereals and bread fortified with iron, and green leafy vegetables. You should also eat plenty of foods containing vitamin C, especially with a meal containing iron rich foods as it is thought to help us absorb the iron.

n Reduce the amount of foods containing fat n Reduce the amount of foods and drinks containing sugar n Reduce the amount of foods containing salt

Why bother with breakfast? Breakfast being the most important meal of the day is not just an old wives’ tale, it’s absolutely true. By breakfast, often you will have gone without food for about 12 hours. You need to re-stock your body with nutrients and fuel to replace what it has used up over night ready for the day’s activity. If you don’t eat until lunch, or even until break, your body will get in the habit of storing what food you put in it later in the day ready for the following morning without food, rather than using it up effectively. It will leave you with less energy all day and you could be more likely to put on weight.

Healthy living A healthy diet is only part of the story, most people your age are physically active for about half an hour a day, most days of the week. This may sound good, but it’s not enough to get the full health benefit. You should be aiming for one hour of moderate intensity activity each day. Moderate intensity activity makes you feel warm and breathe more heavily than usual. More vigorous activity is fine as long as you feel okay and are still able to talk. This is known as your comfort zone. If you are unable to do this, you are probably working at too high an intensity. You don’t have to do one hour of activity all in one go. You can build up over the day, for example: 10 mins walking to school 20 mins football at lunchtime

What if I want to eat healthily and lose weight? As a teenager, remember that your body is still growing and your body shape is likely to change. If you feel you need to loose some weight, have a look at the lifebytes website from the link on this page. They have top ten really useful tips for young people who want to lose weight whilst making sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to grow. Don’t try fad or crash diets and risk cutting out these essential nutrients.

10 mins walking home from school 20 mins dancing around your room to your favourite tunes! Every little bit counts, but try to include some activity that is non-stop for 10-15 minutes which will really help your heart health.


Way2Go - North West 4  

March 2008