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issue 05 | may 2008


WELCOME to the latest edition of W2G North West! In this months issue we take a look at apprenticeships ranging from welding and fabrication, technical engineering to serving an apprenticeship within the media. We also take a look at careers in the Army, The Royal Air Force, languages, chartered surveying and if your thinking of becoming a doctor this could be the issue that might just change your life. We have the usual playtime section where we take a look at the latest movies, games and music releases to hit the shelves. With the sun shinning and summer just around the corner it is the perfect time to knuckle down and let Way2Go help you achieve your GOOOOAAAAL!

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 Son of Rambow The 80s was the decade of leg warmers and Space Dust popping furiously on the tongue. Son Of Rambow is a delightful coming-of-age story harking back to those days. Garth Jennings’ adorable comedy centres on lonely Will Proudfoot, whose mother Mary is a member of the strictly religious Plymouth Brethren and forbids him from corruptive influences such as film, television and the radio. Consequently, Will retreats from his classmates into his sketchbook. At school, Will meets troublemaker Lee Carter, who has been abandoned by his parents and lives with his older brother Lawrence. The young tykes spend the afternoon together, watching a copy of Rambo: First Blood.


Inspired to imitate Stallone’s muscle-bound killing machine, Will secretly agrees to perform death-defying stunts in Lee’s homemade film, which the boys hope to enter in a national competition. Tensions flare when French exchange student Didier tries to muscle in on the lead role, driving a wedge between the new best buddies. Son Of Rambow is irresistibly charming, blessed with compelling performances from the two leads. The script strikes a perfect balance between laughter and tears building to a deeply moving finale that warms the cockles of your nostalgic heart. The boys’ filmmaking escapades are hysterical, including some potentially lethal stunt work, with a rickety seesaw contraption to catapult Will over a bale of hay.

DVD REVIEW Alvin and The Chipmunks In a tree farm, three musically inclined chipmunks, Alvin, Simon and Theodore, find their tree cut down and sent to Los Angeles. Once there, they meet the frustrated songwriter David Seville, and despite a poor house wrecking first impression, they impress him with their singing talent. Seeing the opportunity for success, both human and chipmunks make a pact for them to sing his songs. While that ambition proves a frustrating struggle with the difficult trio, the dream does come true after all. However, that success presents its own trials as their unscrupulous record executive, Ian Hawke, plans to break up this family to exploit the boys. Can Dave and the Chipmunks discover what they really value amid the superficial glamour around them? After watching this I don’t think I really care!!? A disappointing adaptation of the cartoon version which I once loved!!


MUSIC REVIEW MARIAH CAREY E=MC² Performer and songwriter Mariah Carey is back with her eagerly anticipated new album, E=MC². The 11th studio album of her career, E=MC² is the follow-up to The Emancipation Of Mimi, Mariah’s worldwide 10 million selling number 1 album, which generated three Grammy awards, two number 1 singles and countless more industry honors during its 18-month stay on the charts. A range of guest producers joining Mariah on E=MC² include Jermaine Dupri, DJ Toomp, Stargate, Will I Am, C. “Tricky” Stewart, Bryan Michael Cox, Nate “Danjahandz” Hills and James Poyser give this album a fresh vibe. This is a great album and a perfect soundtrack for the summer with these laid back R n’ B beats.

Favorite tracks: - Me & My Boyfriend - Touch My Body


GAME REVIEW WII Fitness The hit combination of Wii SportsTM and the Wii RemoteTM brought golf swings and tennis serves into people’s homes. Now Nintendo turns the living room into a fitness center for the whole family with Wii Fit and the Wii Balance Board. Family members will have fun getting a “core” workout, and talking about and comparing their results and progress on a new channel on the Wii Menu.

Features: n

Lean to block soccer balls, swivel hips to power hoop twirls or balance to hold the perfect yoga pose. As users stand on the Wii Balance Board, included with Wii Fitness, their body’s overall balance is tied to the game in a way they’ve never experienced before.

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Wii Fitness also uses the Wii Balance Board for daily tests. These evaluate two key measures that a household can track via progress charts: Body Mass Index (BMI): A weight evaluation based on a ratio of weight to height. Wii Fitness Age: The Wii Fitness Age is measured by factoring the user’s BMI reading, testing the user’s center of gravity and conducting quick balance tests.

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Wii Fitness includes more than 40 types of training activities designed to appeal to all members of a household. Training falls into four fitness categories: Aerobic Exercise: 10-minute exercises that are designed to get the heart pumping. Muscle Conditioning: Controlled motions using arms, legs and other body parts. Yoga Poses: Classic poses that focus on balance and stretching. Balance Games: Fun activities, such as ski jumping and heading soccer balls, that challenge the player’s overall body balance.


The Maersk Trainee Scheme is not just a modern day apperntership; we are looking for the future leaders of a global company both at sea and ashore. Our 100 training officers head to the infamous SAS training ground, the Brecon Beacons, for a week long leadership programme consisting of; Bridge Building, Canoeing, Climbing, Caving, and orienteering. Promoting team work and good communication skills. This programme has set our trainees, some as young as 16, on the path to becoming a Captain, Chief Engineer, Managing Director or Vice Presidents or one of the worlds leading companies.

Ruth Scott The week in Wales consisted of students from South Tyneside and Warsash colleges joining together for teambuilding. Nobody at the beginning really knew each other and we were split into random groups of 6 people. By the end of the week the aim was to get us working well together as a team, gaining valuable skills that we could transfer to life on board. The groups did different activities each day in order to make us see how to work as a team. The activities were good fun and I think this helped everyone feel more at ease with some of the situations. Team Dynamics were excellent and of all their staff were very experienced and knowledgeable. They were also good at encouraging us to over came fears such as climbing up to quite high heights. Most of the week was enjoyable except I think there may have been some parts such as the log book keeping and essay writing that people felt were a bit pointless as we had just spent six months in college doing just that. The experience was worthwhile and taught us skills such as teamwork, communications and trust in our team-mates.


Craig Young Before beginning the sea phase of my cadetship Maersk had organised a teambuilding building event at Wern Watkin, Wales. We were told that it would be five days long, each of them involving a different activity. Nearer the date of the course we were set an agenda stating our flight details and also the activities that the week consisted of. On our arrival we were met by the members of team dynamics, the group who would be looking after us for the week. Team dynamics was made up of five people who had a great amount of life experience. Most of them were retired from the army and had decided to use there skills from their experiences to benefit others. When we reached Wern Watkin we were split into groups of five and six, these were picked at random. Each team was then designated a team leader from team dynamics to help them through the week. We then sat down as a group and got to know each other a little better and discussed what we would be doing throughout the week. We completed many Tasks including walks, caving, climbing and canoeing around the Brecon Beacons. At the end of the week we came together as a group and discussed what we had learnt. It was at this point that I realised how beneficial the week had been. The teamwork required through the week was quite demanding. It made us look after one another, for example, whilst climbing we worked together helping each other up the rock face. Another positive gained from the week was understanding how important good communication can be. It allowed us to get the task done quickly and effectively. I will not lie in saying that the course was hard work as we finished the week with a 16km walk across the mountains. However it was definitely worth while and I would recommend it to other cadets.


Choosing the right career can be a really daunting task for any young person. However, if you’re looking for an exciting job with dynamic challenges then an Army career may well be the perfect choice for you. Joining up with the Army can lead you in a variety of different directions and can open up some incredible opportunities. For example, when Chauncey EllisSmith and Jenny Gilligan left school in Merseyside to join the Army they quickly realised the unique challenges that the Army could offer them. 20 year-old Chauncey Ellis-Smith completed her initial training in June 2006 after spending 14 weeks at the Army Training Regiment in Surrey, learning all the basic skills of soldiering such as map reading, adventurous training and command tasks. From there she completed a further 10 weeks training at the Gibraltar Barracks in Black water where she successfully passed C and C+E heavy duty vehicle licenses. She is now in the process of completing her final training to become a fully fledged plant operator serving in the Royal Engineering Corps. Chauncey commented: “I thoroughly enjoy my job and have made some great friends along the way – it has been tough but I have loved every minute of it.” Following in her father’s foot-steps, 21 year-old Jenny Gilligan always wanted to know the opportunities open for women in the British Army. After completing a 20-week basic training course in Hertfordshire, Jenny went on to gain a category B and


C+E driving license as well as achieving an apprenticeship in Aviation and Telecommunications and a City & Guilds in Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT). Jenny is now a fully trained Aviation Groundscrew Specialist serving in the Army Air Corps (AAC) and intends to one day become a pilot. Jenny says: “There is so much that the Army can offer women – it’s really rewarding to have a job that teaches you new skills on a daily basis and equips you with the knowledge to help you progress further continuously.” For further information about the careers on offer with the British Army Visit


I’ve been doing my Apprenticeship for seven months now and I’m really enjoying it. I think it’s a great way to learn and make money at the same time and I love the fact that every day is different; I really don’t mind getting up to come to work in the mornings!

I’ve been doing my Apprenticeship for seven months now and I’m really enjoying it. I think it’s a great way to learn and make money at the same time and I love the fact that every day is different; I really don’t mind getting up to come to work in the mornings! My week is split between two and a half days with my company where I can gain hands on experience, a day at college and a day with my Training Provider where I learn practical skills that I can also take to the workplace. I like the fact that the week is a mixture of these, it makes it more interesting. My usual hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm and I stay at college until 6pm on Thursdays, but one of the best things is that I get to finish at 12 on a Friday, so I have spare time to do my own stuff like going to the gym, making it a long weekend. A usual day at work involves being given a job in the morning which is sometimes a drawing or specification, then a work mate will show me what to do and I get on with the job.

It’s good seeing the end result after all the hard work. It’s a great atmosphere in the workshop, I get on really well with the other workers, we have a good ‘crack’ and there’s quite a lot of socialising too. At college and when I’m with my Training Provider I learn other aspects of the trade, I’ve already made tool boxes and sheet metal boxes. So far, I’ve passed my ‘Coded to’ Welding test, I’m really pleased. Every six weeks my Training Adviser comes to see me at my workplace to see how I’m doing. I find these visits really helpful because he points out where I’m doing well and where I need to make improvement, so it helps me to do my job better. My boss and work mates are really good too, they give me help whenever I ask for it. My Apprenticeship training lasts three and a half years and after that I can go on to learn how to become an Inspector of Welding or learn how to do computer designing for plans because I enjoy working with computers also. There are great career opportunities in this trade. The experience I’m gaining at the moment is fantastic and it helps that I really enjoy the work, I would definitely recommend it. It’s hard to say what a ‘typical’ day is like because it’s so varied and that’s why I like it. Chris is employed by Bendalls Engineering, Carlisle and his Training Provider is GEN II Engineering and Technology Training Ltd.


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


Manchester-based public relations agency Smith & Smith PR are one of the Regional Language Network North West’s Business Language Champions. One of the company’s directors, Jane Smith, says that her language skills have played an important role throughout her career, and that she simply wouldn’t be doing the job she loves today without them. much a language can open up new horizons – it was really the first time I’d experienced a different culture from my own, and being able to properly communicate with people over there was a revelation.” Although she’d gained a place at a British university, Jane decided to take a year out and live in France, studying the language on a one-year ‘immersion’ course in Angers, Maine-et-Loire. She loved the place so much she decided to stay, and after 12 months enrolled at Angers University to start a degree in Applied Foreign Languages.

Poland: An Eye-Opening Experience

Exchange Visits: Bringing Languages and Cultures Alive Having enjoyed studying French and German to ‘O’-level at her secondary school in Stoke-on-Trent, Jane decided to take those languages at ‘A’-level. “I enjoyed the classroom learning a lot,” she says, “but what really brought the languages alive for me were exchange visits to France. An extended visit to stay with my French pen friend when I was 17 really brought home to me just how


After three years, Jane gained her ‘Licence’ degree (the equivalent of a B.A.). That Summer, she participated in another exchange scheme that was to prove life-changing. “At the time, the European Economic Community’s PHARE programme had grants for students from western universities to study at summer schools in central Europe. One of these was available to study at Lodz University in Poland for two months, and I jumped at the chance. Much as France had been a huge learning curve for me, I still felt that I hadn’t been very far, and at that time there was a lot of mystery for me around

central Europe; the Berlin Wall not just come down, and I wanted to know a lot more about the former socialist states.” The two months in Poland proved eyeopening and totally fascinating – “I honestly think I grew up during those two months and realised what a complex place the world really is.” Jane chose to study for a Master’s degree at Loughborough University in the UK, where the M.A. in Contemporary European Studies had a strong focus on central European issues. She wrote her M.A. dissertation about Poland’s political situation – the country had just held its first democratic elections for years – and she spent another two months in Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow conducting research and carrying out interviews as well as learning basic Polish. Next, the French and Polish experiences were to prove highly useful in landing

Jane a dream job. About to graduate from Loughborough, she applied for a London publishing job advertised in The Guardian, which asked for a graduate with a good understanding of European issues. “I was amazed when I was asked in for an interview, even more amazed when I was offered the job and totally shocked when the publisher told me that 780 people had applied for the job but that it had been languages plus my knowledge of central European issues that had got me the job,” Jane says. It turned out that one of the books the publisher was working on was a reference book all about the very recent changes in central Europe. “Even in my wildest dreams I didn’t think I’d be able to get the first job I applied for from university, especially in a Bloomsbury publishing house,” she says. “Languages, and the experiences of going abroad, had landed me that job.” After four years in publishing, Jane wanted to move again and successfully applied for a grant to study on a two-month Hebrew

programme at Haifa University in Israel. Completing the programme, Jane stayed on in Israel, working first as a marketing manager at a hi-tech importer with mainly US clients, then as a PR manager with NASDAQ-listed Orckit Communications in Tel-Aviv. “The job involved a mixture of English and Hebrew,” she says. “I loved it despite the fast pace – Israelis work six days a week, and very long hours too. But they’re great team players, very creative - and I learned so much from working in an Israeli company.” Returning to the UK in 2000, Jane found a position as a PR manager in a Cheshire agency; once again, languages were key, since many of the campaigns were pan-European ones for large engineering companies. “I had German, Dutch and French clients, with media in those countries to deal with too, and we could always communicate in at least one language other than English, which helped a lot.” Jane set up her own business, Smith & Smith PR, in 2002, and before long she was able to attract clients with an international aspect, including a big Korean children’s books publisher who needed PR support for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. As the business grew, the first PR professional Jane recruited was another languages graduate.

Language Graduates: Confident, Creative and Disciplined “Graduates with languages tend to be confident and creative

communicators with self-discipline, which is a great combination to have in PR,” she says. “Also, people who have done language degrees are also more likely to have travelled meaningfully and experienced other cultures, which is a big plus point for us – especially if they’ve also experienced working life overseas. Good candidates integrate the best bits of what they’ve learned abroad, including from work life. We see people with languages as good additions to our business even aside from the being able to win international PR campaigns.” The Business Language Champions project identifies 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. Regional Language Network North West is currently looking for potential Business Language Champions across the region and across sectors. 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:


The Apprentice Network was set up in 2006 at the request of Dave Walsh, Head of BT Apprentices. The Network recruited 10 Reps made up of 5 LOB Reps and 5 Diversity Reps, who worked hard to quickly establish the Network amongst Apprentices and the rest of BT. Mark Biffin was appointed as TAN Champion in 2007. The committee meet every 3 months and have bi-weekly conference calls, where they discuss progress of events, communications, new ideas and the budget. Reps communicate with apprentices regularly through events held and also online. There is a monthly newsletter send out to all apprentices and all managers which lets apprentices know what they can get involved in, and other relevant apprentice news. They are also there to support apprentices by providing an impartial ear to listen to any issues that the apprentice may have whilst also attempting to answer any questions that the apprentice is unsure about. The network also has a website, which has been recently refurbished and is kept up to date daily, with news, documents and useful links. TAN have a number of their own events and opportunities for apprentices: n

Charity Quizzes – held at Yarnfield Park, supporting local and big charities. All reps help to create the quizzes and TAN pays for the prizes. All donations go to Charity.

n Lunch with Learners – held across the UK with one


senior manager and ten apprentices in a comfortable and non-threatening environment where apprentices and managers can ask each other questions. Lunch is provided and usually last for 1hour 30 mins.

n Mentoring – TAN Created their own mentoring scheme and introduce this at Apprentice Induction Events n Competitions are held a few times a year for apprentices to win a prize, such as MP3 players. n

Green Week – to support BT’s Green Week and raise environmental issues with apprentices. Also provides a guide to apprentices/managers about what they could be doing for the environment.


What Next – a yearly event held at BT Centre with key note speakers, both in BT and out with BT. This event aims to provide apprentices with career path ideas and guides.

The network also promotes other events and opportunities that are open to apprentices including: n Adastral Park n India Trek n Challenge Africa

In the future, TAN hope to make more apprentices active with TAN events and opportunities and get them involved with helping to run events and suggest ideas. In the college where the Apprentices undertake the academic part of the scheme, we have notice boards and regular updates on events that are going on. This has been successful in raising the activities of the TAN as there are normally circa of 130 apprentices at college each week.

visit us at


High grades alone are not enough! You need to show extra commitment even to get to the first stage. Then, if you are lucky enough to get an interview, you will be asked a range of searching and demanding questions so you need to be confident of your ability and well informed. So what can I do ?

You can shadow a doctor, work in a hospital or help with children or old people to show that you understand the demands of a caring profession. Did you know that you can also study Open University short courses in medically related subjects? This demonstrates that you are an independent learner with the self-motivation to study at University level as well showing an aptitude for problem based learning and providing helpful background knowledge, and it looks good in your personal statement.

Three successful candidates talk about the Open University courses they studied and what happened at interview. Bilal: Medicine, Molecules and Drugs: a chemical story. I took the course just after my AS levels and I found it useful to cover parts of the A2 course before I got there. It helped me understand the more difficult aspects and it was good to know how things worked and why, as well as their chemistry. I became really interested in Aspirin - it originally comes from willow bark - and did extra research into how it is made and used. At the interview they asked me open-ended questions. `Why do you want to be a doctor? What items of interest have you picked up in recent medical news?’ etc. I think that studying the course did give me more confidence in my knowledge and I did talk about what I had found out about Aspirin.

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 a variety of topics on science: Life in the Oceans, Forensics, Robotics, Astronomy and Cosmology and in the arts subjects like Writing Plays, Poems or Fiction as well as the medically related courses mentioned above. 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 :


I liked teaching myself and enjoyed training myself to do research


says Liuhao

Liuhao Human Genetics and Health Issues. I am really excited by genetics so the course was great for me. The case studies were especially interesting and the extracts from radio programs explaining how drugs are made were very good. I liked teaching myself and enjoyed training myself to do research and organising my own study. I found that I wanted to know more about RNA after reading it so I looked around for further things to read. They see thousands of personal statements that say the same thing so this was something to talk about on the UCAS form. The nervewracking thing about the interviews is not knowing what they are going to ask. At Cambridge they wanted to know what bits had made me go onto research so I was able to use the material about RNA.

Saad Medicine Molecules and Drugs: a chemical story’ The course was a really nice complement to A2 chemistry. It gives the applications of chemicals and drugs so it gives the A-level course context and makes it more interesting. I was really amazed that a lot of conditions are cured by drugs developed from natural compounds and not ones structured in a lab. It opens your eyes so it is not just learning. You visualise a process getting a compound, finding how it actually works and how you might develop it. They asked open-ended questions at interview. I think that they actually avoided asking direct questions about the OU course but I was able to bring up a couple of things that I had researched myself out of interest - the development of the HIV drug Mariviroc and the story of asthma and ephedrine from plants for example.


As the BBC’s award-winning series ‘The Apprentice’ picks up pace, will you be tuning in to see who will win the opportunity to train and work with the selfmade millionaire? Whilst the popular programme challenges those that aspire to work under Sir Alan, the real world of Apprenticeships isn’t quite as harsh! Becoming an apprentice is not just for the competing business tycoons on TV. If you have the desire to get hired, an Apprenticeship can also offer you the opportunity to succeed, so why not find out what’s on offer? Apprenticeships are now one of the most successful ways of raising skill levels and helping young people to achieve their goals. Not just about the money, the main prize in becoming an apprentice is gaining experience and a hands-on understanding of the job – a priceless opportunity you can seize for yourself through one of the hundreds of Apprenticeship programmes, funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Although Alan Sugar is notoriously hard to please, real life Apprenticeships are not as daunting as they appear to be in his boardroom, yet the opportunities they offer can be just as exciting. From business administration to information technology, plumbing to joinery, travel to hospitality, there are now over 200 Apprenticeships available across 80 industry sectors. As Apprenticeships allow you to study for nationally recognised qualifications, whilst you are gaining hands-on experience at work, you can ensure you have both the skills and the experience that employers look for. Choosing between the world of work or continuing to study can be a difficult decision to make, but choosing to do an Apprenticeship means you can have the best of both worlds. Explains John Korzeniewski, Regional Director for the LSC in the North West, “Programmes such as ‘The Apprentice’ are helping to highlight Apprenticeships as a viable route to achieving your career goals. Putting the Apprenticeship programme centre stage, the show emphasises how important it is for young people to have the right skills and


the right attitude in order to succeed. Apprenticeships provide a chance for young people to get on to the career ladder and excel in their chosen profession and with so many Apprenticeships now available, there is a choice for everyone.” If you would like to find out more about Apprenticeships log on to Christopher Taylor Manchester’s Apprentice of the Year 2007 and Angela Rose Manchester’s Advanced Apprentice of the Year 2007 are presented with their awards by Michelle Dewberry, winner of Alan Sugar’s Apprentice show.

Where Do I Work? I am employed by Rolls – Royce Plc, Barnoldswick who manufacture both first & second generation Wide Chord Fan Blades (WCFB) using super-plastic forming & diffusion bonding technologies. The blades are used on both civil & military applications .Employing approx 650 staff The Fans business outputs in the order of £100M annually. I am currently in the first year of my apprenticeship, doing off the job training at Training 2000 who are the largest independent training provider in the North West , and hope to join the drawing office at Rolls-Royce plc on completion of my apprenticeship. I started the apprenticeship in September 2007 and complete my first years training in June 2008, when i will go back into the company.

After the first 2 years of my training i will have completed a HNC and then after a further years training I will obtain a HND. I hope in the future that my company will sponsor me to do a Mechanical Engineering Degree. This training is extremely hands on and covers a wide variety of skills including CNC (computer numerical control) Milling and Turning, Drawing, Fitting etc. We make components from drawings that are supplied to us by our tutors, during this process we are challenged to identify problems and solve them as we go along. Once we have made the component we create our own drawing of that job with the suggested improvements. I feel this year will develop the skills I need to go back into the company and deliver, I am excited about producing real parts for the company that will be used on real aircraft.

Why Engineering? My Dad is an engineer and has been a huge influence in my career decisions. I have always seen engineering as a great career opportunity as it offers a wide spectrum of job opportunities, good wages and career progression. An apprenticeship seemed the right route for me as you get paid to learn, you have a job to go to at the end of your training, you gain well respected qualifications and it does not close the door on University study down the line.


How did I get into my career? After school I went to college and studied a BTEC in Mechanical Engineering. From here I sent applications to a few companies to undertake an apprenticeship and was thrilled to be accepted by Rolls-Royce plc. I wanted to work for Rolls-Royce plc as it is widely recognised as a prestigious company and I have always had an interest in jet engines. They also offer excellent training and development opportunities.

My Advice to You Engineering is a very exciting and valid career choice, which gives you the opportunity to work on large projects with big budgets. If you think it’s all about manual work then you would be mistaken, it uses a lot of science and maths skills too. If you are interested in becoming an engineering apprentice, make sure you do an Engineering GCSE, try to do work experience with an engineering company and stay in touch with them. Attend company open days and don’t be afraid to apply for apprenticeships with a number of different companies. It’s an exciting and rewarding career that will give you different challenges and many opportunities.


North West Employers What do I do? Kirsten from North West Employers

Why be an apprentice? Through Apprenticeships you can develop your skills through a blend of on-the-job training, classroom learning and real workplace experience.

Adam says: Hi Kirsten, How are you? I haven’t seen you in ages! Kirsten says: I know! Well I am actually working at North West Employers in Manchester Adam says: Manchester?! Lucky you, I bet you are right near all the shops. Kirsten says: Yep I am! It’s really good. Adam says: So what do you do there? Kirsten says: Well we are an employers’ organisation; we provide advice, support and consultancy services to local authorities in the North West. Adam says: That sounds cool, so what’s your job? Kirsten says: Well I am a Support Assistant, if some one wants something clerical doing; I am the person they would go to! I also book people onto courses that we run and take telephone enquiries. Adam says: Wouldn’t you rather be in college though? Rather than risk being stuck in the same job forever! Kirsten says: I am in college- I am doing an apprenticeship. It’s an NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration. Adam says: …and what does that mean? Kirsten says: well basically, I am learning and doing at the same time. Recently I was at college doing a course on Equality & Diversity-which was really interesting as I learned how to treat people. College helps you understand what to do, and what not to do. You also get to do a portfolio of all the work you do, it can be anything from printing, to what telephone messages you take. Adam says: So what is your favourite part of working Kirsten says: Well the money doesn’t hurt! Lol! And you get to meet new people and learn, and gain experience. It’s also nice in college because you get to talk to people your age, and share your experiences with them. Adams says: That sounds really cool! I wish I had a job now! Kirsten says: Well you can always get one! Local Authorities are looking to recruit young people to start working with them as an apprentice now!

No Problem, See you later! |

There are now some 180000 young people and adults starting Apprenticeships each year in England and over 180 different Apprenticeship frameworks, covering everything from customer service and business administration to plumbing and construction. What is Central Government doing? The Government has introduced a requirement for all young people to be in education or training until the age of 18. With this in mind they have introduced an entitlement to an Apprenticeship place for each suitably qualified young person from 2013.

St Helens Council Carving out a career with the Council As the Council reaches out to recruit more young people, encouraging them to make the most of the opportunities it offers, two members of staff stand out as shining examples of what can be achieved. Lisa, a Clerk in the Family Support Team started working for the Council on an Entry 2 Employment programme in February 2005 and progressed onto the apprentice programme before gaining permanent employment. She has achieved Business Admin Level 2 and is signing up for Level 3. Sarah, a Clerical Officer, joined as an apprentice


in June 2005, gained a three month contract in Adult Social Care and Health then found permanent employment in Human Resources and has been temporarily promoted to cover maternity leave. She too achieved Level 2 Business Admin and is about to quality for Level 3. Julie said: “The Council wants to create more opportunities for young people and to “grow it’s own” team leaders, supervisors and managers of the future. We need to ensure that young people come into the Council and see it as a place in which to progress their careers.”

For more information contact Julie O’Neill on 01744 456947 or e-mail JulieO’

Lancashire County Council

Warrington Borough Council What do I get out of an apprenticeship? As part of your Apprenticeship programme you will undertake nationally recognised qualifications - A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in the appropriate occupational area. A Technical Certificate which underpins your NVQ with the knowledge you will need to do the job; and Key Skills eg communication and the application of number. These national qualifications are recognised as certificates of competence throughout the UK. Apprenticeships can take between one and two years to complete.

What do I need to have? n n n n n n

Good school, college or work record in terms of attendance, timekeeping and conduct; Evidence of voluntary work, part-time or full- time employment Evidence of school/College/Work experience responsibility e.g. Prefect, Team Captain Willingness to learn and apply that learning in the workplace Effective communication skills, good team- working skills and commitment to equality and diversity Self motivation – to demonstrate potential to complete the qualifications as part of the Apprenticeship.

You will also have the opportunity to receive training in areas including administration, customer service and ICT. Additional training in health & safety, presentation skills and other courses are integrated into the programme. What will we provide? – Warrington n n n n n n

Access to support and advice Information on further training Help with any specific learning needs A confidential service A friendly and prompt service Opportunities to evaluate the programme

For further information contact:

Case Study: “I did Business studies at school and really enjoyed it so I wanted to find out about the career opportunities in this area. When I left college I knew university wasn’t for me. I started looking around for administration jobs and I had heard about Apprenticeships, so when I found the position at Lancashire County Council it sounded like the perfect opportunity to get my career started. “My Apprenticeship has given me an insight into the county council and the world of work, and has helped me decide how I want to progress my career.” Mercia Woest – Business Administration NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 Interested? Contact Michelle slater or Claire Massey or Telephone 01772 533861 or 01772 530273

Cheshire County Council What job could I do? Cheshire County Council in conjunction with Total People have vacancies for training in Foundation and Advanced Apprenticeships in the following areas: n n n n n

Accounting Administration Information Technology Customer Services Health & Social Care

How much will I get paid? – Cheshire Getting paid while you learn might sound too good to be true, but as an apprentice with Cheshire County Council you really do get the best of both worlds. If you have the dedication to succeed in the world of work and you’re not

afraid to commit yourself to a combination of training and study then an apprenticeship may be for you. Currently Cheshire Council apprenticeship rate is £81.98 per week rising to £87.10 per week on your 17th birthday. What holidays will I get? – Cheshire You will be entitled to 25 days paid holiday plus public holidays per year. For further information contact:


Most local authorities in the North West offer some apprenticeships. Look on your local authority website in the first instance. (links to all North West authorities can be found at: Some examples for 2008 are:

Oldham Metropolitian Borough Council

Bolton Council n Range of Modern apprenticeships available including:

Would you like to learn more about what the Council does? Why not consider an apprenticeship? We have a number of apprenticeship opportunities available across departments where you can learn and develop a range of job-related skills whilst working towards an NVQ. Areas include Business Admin, Construction, Customer Service and Registrars. For more information and an application form, please contact: Sharon Senior Telephone 01204 331307 Email For more information on Bolton Council, please see our website

Moving Forward on Mersyside Local authorities on Merseyside are developing an approach to support the progression of children in care into employment in local government, the health service and private sector business partners. The scheme will involve work based learning from14 to be followed by an apprenticeship with further training until 21. There will then be an offer of a permanent job with a chance to pursue further qualifications by day release at college or university. The scheme is not in operation yet but further information with be included in later editions of ‘Way to Go’. For further information contact Tom McNamara

North West Employers

Business Administration, Horticulture, Street Scene (Street Cleaning – Highways and Land), Countryside Management, Waste Management Operations, Social Care, Finance, CCTV Installation and maintenance and possibly Arts and Entertainment and Highways Engineering.

n Application packs and further information available from after 1st May 2008 with a closing date for completed application forms of 6th June 2008.

n Rates of pay vary per Apprenticeship from £11,500 -

£14,000 per annum.

n Training up to NVQ Level 3 provided,

mentoring / support available on an individual basis.

n Excellent conditions of service. n Hours of work usually 36 hours 40 mins or 37 hours per


For further information please ring 0161 770 3096/0161 770 4299 or 0161 770 3310

Pendle Borough Council

10 places in Administration; 3 places in Horticulture (contact: or or 01282 878810)

Wigan Council

One Business Administration Apprentice vacancy – applications will be available from the beginning of June 2008. Salary circa £11,000. Please contact or telephone 0161 834 9362 for further information

Trade apprenticeships eg plastering, painting, decorating, plumbing; and clerical vacancies. (contact: 01942 827613 or look on the Council bulletin from May

For more information about apprenticeships please visit or

What the surveying sector encompasses Becoming a Chartered Surveyor is potentially one of the most exciting careers around. When they aren’t creating the new Wembley Stadium, protecting the world’s reefs, or laying pipelines on the sea bed, they are designing and planning whole cities. Nowadays the scope of the surveying sector is huge. You can be involved in projects like museums, water-sport centres, ski slopes, wind farms, man-made islands, high-rise apartments, shopping complexes, national parks, and zoos.

An idea of the sort of people it would interest A Chartered Surveyor’s job is one of inspiring business enterprise and efficiency. If you get a buzz from making deals and possess good communication skills it could be the career for you. Being a Chartered Surveyor is very much a creative role - surveyors have physical evidence of their achievements and make a visual impact on a cityscape or environment. If you have an interest in: n n n n n n

the environment and landscapes natural resources and ecology architecture and property buildings and construction history and conservation communication

it could be worth considering surveying. Becoming a Chartered Surveyor means you won’t spend your life behind a desk - because surveying is an extremely diverse profession.

Why it is a great industry to get into The opportunities are many and varied and demand for Chartered Surveyors continues to outstrip supply. It’s much more than just wearing a hard hat and boots, although those that do could be working on multi-million pound projects – the likes of Wembley and the Olympics. So whether you are interested in designing and managing buildings (Building Surveying), delivering development projects (Project Management), managing the cost and commercial management (Quantity Surveying) or advising on and implementing building codes (Building Control) surveying is worth a close look.


The sectors too are diverse and challenging. Residential, leisure, health, education, retail and mixed use urban regeneration all form part of the Chartered Surveyor’s portfolio. About 15% of Chartered Surveyors now work internationally and this is growing fast. Memership of RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is increasingly recognised as the international passport for property professionals. There is currently a shortage of skilled surveyors so it is an industry with good future employment prospects as well. RICS has seen a huge rise in the number of students members in recent years with 15,000 in the UK alone. A career in surveying can be very rewarding with job variety, job satisfaction and opportunities to travel as the key benefits.

The skills you learn Qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor means you’ll gain skills in key areas such as communication, management, ethics, dispute resolution, IT, health and safety, environmental awareness, law and research.

How you get into it: The most conventional route to becoming a Chartered Surveyor is to complete an RICS accredited degree and then become a trainee. After completing the degree you would then undertake an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) – that’s two years structured training while in relevant employment, ending with an assessment interview. To get onto an RICS accredited property related or surveying degree course generally you will need three good passes at ‘A’ levels, or four Scottish Highers. The kind of subjects you’ll need are geography, economics, maths, languages, IT, English, physics, art, design and technology. To get started look up or visit You can also talk to an RICS adviser who will be able to tell you whether the qualifications you already have can be of use – ring 0870 333 1600.

The specific work of the RICS RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is the mark of property professionalism worldwide. It covers all aspects of property, construction and associated environmental issues. RICS has 140,000 members globally and represents, regulates and promotes the work of property professionals throughout 121 countries. RICS is governed by a Royal Charter approved by Parliament which requires it to act in the public interest. It is also a professional regulatory body approved by Government (HM Treasury). Our members are involved in everything from major construction projects to protecting the environment, from surveying the seabed to valuing antiques and fine art. RICS also provides impartial advice to society in general, businesses, governments and global organisations. We are a non-profit making organisation, and we provide our members with a wealth of practical assistance, information, training and logistical back up.

For more information on a career in chartered surveying please visit

The Operational Communications Branch (OCB) is responsible for answering all emergency calls and general enquires, made to Greater Manchester Police (GMP). We also manage the despatch of Police Officers via our radio communications links to the whole of Greater Manchester and the staffing of Control Room communications for all major sporting and public events in the City. GMP have four Operational Communications Rooms and anyone of them can receive an average of 1,600 – 1,800 emergency and nonemergency calls from the public every day – these calls are received by our highly trained call-takers, consisting of both Police Officers and Police Staff Communication Officers and Call Handlers. Over the course of a year we receive approximately 2.5 million non-emergency external calls, which are transferred to one of 6,700 working telephone extensions within GMP. Every Police Station within Greater Manchester has an


external telephone, which automatically connects to the Switchboard for out of hours use when they are closed. As a member of our team expect to be stretched! Responding to emergency calls from the public every ninety seconds, whilst keeping a calm and rational head is demanding – you’ll need to be a special person to make that commitment 365 days of the year. You’ll be dealing with life and death situations, so you know that you’ll be thinking on your feet in a tough and challenging environment. We’re interested in high calibre people, who are clear thinkers,

sensitive, with common sense and sound judgement. Your experience may have been gained in a variety of environments – perhaps you have had to use communication skills and made decisions under pressure. We want more that that! From the very start, you will be aware that peoples’ lives may depend on your action and in this job the acceptance of that responsibility is paramount. In return, we offer an excellent salary and benefits package and a secure, rewarding career with an employer committed to quality and training. This is not just a 9-5 routine job, you’ll be working shifts which include evenings and weekends alongside a team of highly motivated and professional colleagues.

Call Handlers Effective communications are vital to GMP and our aim is to improve our service to the public and speed up the handling of 999 calls. You will receive and action incoming telephone calls, obtaining all necessary information and allocating appropriate responses via GMP’s integrated Computer System (GMPICS). . Experience and training in telephone communication in a customer environment is essential, as well as good keyboard skills and the ability to prioritise and resolve problems (as you will often be handling people in difficult circumstances). The role requires exceptional sensitivity and the ability to deal with pressure, as you will frequently be dealing with distressed people making 999 calls.

Customer Enquires Officers You will provide an effective customer focused service to all callers to the GMP switchboard, asking probing questions to determine the urgency and most appropriate resource to deal with the call and offer support, help and advice where appropriate. Excellent communication skills, experience of dealing with the public over the telephone, resolving problems and offering advice are essential, as are keyboard skills and knowledge of computer applications.

To apply for either role, please visit or call 0161 856 1888.


Advances in modern technology have led to many exciting new ways to understand and analyse materials, including their detailed physical structure at a molecular level. You have probably learned about chromatography in Chemistry - perhaps using it to separate out the different coloured dyes that make up ‘black’ ink. An even more exciting technique is mass spectrometry - a method used to determine the masses of atoms or molecules in which an electrical charge is placed on the molecule and the resulting ions are separated by their mass to charge ratio. Mass Spectrometers vary in their size, shape and type but their high speed, sensitivity and accuracy means the resulting data can be used to determine how much of a compound is present in a chemical or biological sample as well as its exact chemical formula and structure. Analysis using mass spectrometry has many new and broad applications. Its impact on the world today is invaluable. Leading research scientists are using mass spectrometry techniques to make breakthrough medical discoveries in areas that once seemed unimaginable, areas such as cancer research and treatment, understanding the cause and developing more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Mass Spectometry technologies are also helping to make birth defect screening programmes accessible around the world, as well as helping to safeguard the integrity of the food we eat and the water we drink. Alistair Wallace is evidence of just how rewarding a career in Mass Spectrometry can be. He firstly studied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (BSc) and then moved on to concentrate on research in Structural Biology, both at the University of Sheffield. Alistair now has a very promising and upward career path with Waters Corporation, a world leader in the field of mass spectrometry. Based at Manchester, Alistair is Product Manager for Waters flagship product, the SYNAPT High Definition family of mass spectrometers. Just like high definition TV has really changed


the quality of your viewing picture, high definition mass spectrometry is really starting to revolutionise the landscape for scientists around the world, allowing them to achieve far better results and redefine the limits of what their scientific research can achieve. “My time at Waters Corporation has been very exciting and rewarding. It never ceases to amaze me how much our technologies have contributed to science and the world as a whole, from biological research and drug discovery to food safety and neo-natal screening. Waters Corporation is an innovative, exciting and dynamic place to work and the field of mass spectrometry moves so quickly, it’s a real buzz just knowing that the next big scientific breakthrough made using our technology is never far away. For me personally, it is a privilege to be a part of the development of such enabling technologies.” And having such a successful career path does not prevent Alistair from achieving his very high personal goals - he has a successful international career in Lacrosse, being a key member of the England Lacrosse squad. Alistair already has two European Championship winners medals (1996 and 2004) under his belt and he made an impressive contribution to the 2006 World Championships for Team England. His international career in this field certainly continues to flourish.

Are you interested? Scientists and technologists today work in teams which bring together many different disciplines - chemists, biochemists, physicists, mathematicians, software engineers, mechanical and control engineers all make their own unique contribution to R&D, product development and production. Some people start off in a technical role then develop into commercial careers in Sales and Marketing. You will need GCSEs in Physics, Chemistry, Biology (or combined Science) plus Maths. Get involved in a Science Club at School if possible, it will help you to to ‘think out of the box’ and remember there is a place for creativity in science. Continue your best three technical subjects at A level, and aim for a good BSc qualification at University - there are a lot of courses to choose from so be guided by your teachers and Careers Adviser.


Having decided that further education and an office job was not for her; Senior Aircraftwoman Natalie Waddington joined the Royal Air Force when she was 19 years old. She explains, ‘I didn’t want to be stuck in an office working nine to five for the rest of my life. My brother was in the Army Cadets and put the idea of a military career into my head’. After considering her options Natalie, from Plymouth, decided that being an RAF Personnel Administrator would suit her. ‘I wanted to get out and about in the big wide world and meet different kinds of people.’ Little did Natalie know that she would also be able to play basketball at a competitive level. ‘I only started playing in Year 11 at school, whilst helping a friend out with his Physical Education GCSE coursework. I really enjoyed it, but didn’t think I was particularly good’. It was during trade training that Natalie really picked it up again. ‘We would occasionally be able to choose the activity in our Physical Education lessons. I would convince our group to play basketball.’ In September 2003, Natalie was posted to RAF Waddington, near Lincoln. Whilst there, Natalie joined the RAF Women’s basketball team and built in training and match time around her job responsibilities. Natalie has since competed in the 2005 Interservices competition at Aldershot in Surrey. In April she travelled to Holland with the RAF Basketball Team and played against the US, the Dutch, Belgium and German Air Forces. “It was the first year female teams had competed. We opened the tournament against the Dutch, but unfortunately lost against the US in the Final.”

The RAF encourages its personnel to take part in all kinds of sports and adventure activities. “When I was at RAF Waddington I went on a rock climbing and hill walking expedition to Spain, and I went to Wales and took part in a range of activities including rock climbing, white water rafting and mountain biking.”

Personnel Administrator entry requirements

RAF Personnel are also offered the opportunity to push themselves career wise by gaining further qualifications and responsibilities. As Natalie explains, “I’ve completed an NVQ level 2 in Business Administration and I’ve also taken a Modern Apprenticeship in Administration which entitled me to a pay increase. In my spare time I completed a 12-week course in Spanish”.

Personnel Administrator job description Personnel Administrators play a vital role in ensuring that the RAF runs smoothly and efficiently. As a Personnel Administrator, you’ll provide full administrative support to RAF personnel. You’ll be trained in general Service procedures and administration, Service writing, keyboard skills and word processing, registry and postal procedures, and a wide variety of personnel management practices. Being a Personnel Administrator with the RAF isn’t like working for any other organisation: wherever the aircraft go, you go too – even if your office ends up under canvas in the middle of a field.

Whilst working in the Chief of the Air Staff’s office she frequently met British and Foreign Chiefs of Staff, many VIP’s and even Royalty. Since being in the RAF, Natalie has also flown in the E-3D Sentry and Nimrod and an Army Gazelle whilst on detachment in Northumberland.

Qualifications: 2 GCSEs/SCEs at grade G/6 minimum or equivalent in English language and maths Joining age: 16 – 29 Pay after one year: £16,100 Open to: men or women

In December 2007 Natalie was posted to RAF Odiham, Hampshire where she deals specifically with Officer and Airmen Aircrew appraisals, small detachments and courses all over the UK. Working in an HR environment will be a new challenge for Natalie and will require her to get up to speed with the newly established Joint Personnel Administration system. But for now, Natalie is enjoying her new job back on an operational station, which has excellent gym facilities and social events.

There are over 60 career opportunities in the RAF, for further information call 0845 605 5555 or visit

From motorway service station supervisor to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Specialist in the Royal Air Force, 25 year old Seth Andrews has come a long way in a short period of time. Currently working on the Tactical Communications Wing at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, Senior Aircraftman Andrews is responsible for maintaining some of the RAF’s most valuable communications equipment. “I was working as a supervisor for a motorway service station when I decided to change my career direction. The Armed Forces had always appealed to me so I visited my local AFCO, took an aptitude test and was offered the Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Specialist role. I can honestly say I haven’t looked back since”, explains Seth Having never lived away from his hometown of Cambridge, Seth was aware that the first few weeks of basic recruit training could be challenging but recalls: “I had prepared myself physically for basic training by going to the gym regularly and reaching a certain level of fitness. Like most new recruits though I did get a bit homesick, but everyone pulls together and that really helps. I have good memories of the nine weeks training at RAF Halton and made some friends for life.” The training for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Specialist takes nine months and is based at RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton. Seth completed this course and started his first tour at RAF Brize Norton in 2006. “I learnt a lot on the specialist trade training about the communication and information equipment used in the RAF, including satellites, radio heads and radars. But the real learning comes on the job, and when I started on the Tactical Communications

Wing at RAF Brize Norton I really had my eyes opened. “My job involves maintaining and fixing the various pieces of equipment used for out-of-area operations.. We are regularly tested on our ability to maintain the equipment and take part in exercises designed to mimic real life operations and scenarios. We work closely with the RAF Regiment as they are the guys who make sure the exercises are as realistic as possible.“ Working in all weather conditions, including snow, and being prepared to be deployed at a moments notice, Seth has a positive outlook and explains: “I look forward to the time when I go overseas because that is what I joined up to do and I am sure it will be an experience worth having. At the moment, the best bit about being in the RAF is that I get to do a job I enjoy and plenty of opportunity to keep fit and play football. I also have a great social life both on and off the base and when I go home to Cambridge my friends are interested to hear what I’ve been up to.” In his spare time Seth is making the most of the sports facilities offered by the RAF and is learning to canoe and kayak in the station swimming pool. Equally keen to keep his qualifications up to date, he is currently studying for some further IT qualifications which will be useful in his current job and are recognised by civilian employers.

“I have no regrets about joining up, in fact I only wish I had done it sooner. My future ambition is to firstly reach the rank of Corporal and then to continue making the most of my career and life in the RAF.” RAF Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Specialist Job Description Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Specialists maintain and repair satellite systems, local area networks, airfield navigation and communications systems. This is the equipment that enables the RAF to undertake effective air operations on a global scale – aircraft can’t operate safely or effectively without it. There is also potential for extensive overseas travel, particularly if you work with the Tactical Communications Wing, who set up communications systems for operations and exercises. RAF Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Specialist Entry Requiremtents Qualifications: 3 GCSEs/SCEs at Grade C/3 minimum or equivalent in English language, maths and an approved science/technology-based subject Joining age: 16 – 29 Pay after one year: £16,100 Open to: men or women

There are over 60 career opportunities in the RAF, for further information call 0845 605 5555 or visit

A SECOND Advanced Apprenticeship in Media Production is be run in the Northwest, giving even more young people the opportunity to break into the broadcast industry. After the huge success of the first Apprenticeship – the first of its kind anywhere in the UK, some of the biggest names in broadcasting have come together once again to offer another twenty 16-22years the chance to take their first steps on the media career ladder. The BBC, ITV Granada, Lime Pictures, Channel M and Sumners are just some of the big hitters to have joined forces to launch the 2008 Apprenticeships, working with smaller companies such as Flix Facilities, Channel K and Mange2Media. “When we launched the scheme last summer, it was the first time a production apprenticeship programme had been created specifically for the media industry, so we were unsure how it would be received,” explains David Longworth, Apprentices Training Manager for Northwest Vision and Media, which works on behalf of the region’s film, TV, radio and digital content industries. “The response to the Apprenticeships has been phenomenal, and the feedback we’ve received from everyone concerned has been so positive, that we’re delighted to be offering the scheme for a second year,” adds David. The Advanced Apprenticeship in Media Production is open to young people living


in the Northwest, designed specifically for people who wouldn’t usually get the chance to break into broadcasting. Applicants DON’T need to have GCSE Maths or English, but should be able to work at that level. Anyone who already has a Level 3 qualification, or equivalent, is NOT eligible to apply. Graduates are also not eligible to apply. The second 18-month Programme will begin in September 2008 and will run until March 2010, with each apprentice receiving training and all the experience needed to kick-start their career in the industry. At the end of the scheme, it’s hoped the apprentices will be the next generation of industry talent. “There are no guarantees, but once the scheme ends the trainees will have acquired all the skills and experience they need to secure work in their chosen part of the media industry,” says David. Details of how to apply for the 2008/10 Advanced Apprenticeship in Media Production are available on

The word nuclear always raises emotions so when someone says I work in the nuclear industry - what do they do? Over the forthcoming months we will be taking a closer look at the current UK nuclear decommissioning industry and the various initiatives that are in place to create a world class workforce, with much of that activity taking place here in the North West. It is reckoned that the nuclear industry accounts for 25% of all employment in West Cumbria and that there are at least 300 other companies in West Cumbria and the north west working in the industry. The drive is led by the Nuclear Decommissioning Industry (NDA) from its national headquarters in West Cumbria. Many of the country’s original nuclear power stations and facilities are, or have already reached, the end of their natural lives. The task is now to clean up those sites and make them available for other uses. In simple terms the NDA mission is one of environmental restoration which pulls together scientists, engineers, project planners and an extremely wide range of support skills; from construction to civil engineering, from environmental management to economic regeneration. The NDA has kick started a range of educational, skills and research projects, which are now taking shape and together will provide all the necessary education and support services from school, through business support to academic research. The hope is that young people will be encouraged to look seriously at the likes of science and engineering as a modern career path and that many more employers will be encouraged to enter the industry. The industry wants to use the latest technologies and capture new ideas and ensure the nuclear clean up gives value for money and keeps safety and environmental protection paramount. At school level the NDA supports Energy Foresight which provides curriculum based material on radioactivity and power generation for GCSE students. Not only does this provide direct support for science studies but also aims to heighten the interest of young people in what have tended to


become unfashionable subjects to study. Following a successful trial last year involving schools in the north west and Cumbria, teachers are being trained and the support materials rolled out to more schools in an effort to bring what previously have been seen, as “heavy or “technical” topics to life. More broadly, the NDA features in the Times 100 business case studies project, allowing students from GCSE through to foundation degree level the opportunity to learn more about their business and their approach to developing the nuclear workforce. In the north west construction has begun on a £20m project to create a world class skills and training facility known as ENERGUS on the Lillyhall Industrial Park close to Workington. ENERGUS will be a dedicated centre of excellence providing a wide range of education and training facilities to skill up school leavers and the workforce to make the most of employment opportunities within the nuclear sector. It will provide courses and training through NVQs and modern apprenticeships up to foundation degrees. ENERGUS is overseen by a partnership between the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN), the NDA, the North West Development Agency (NWDA), West Lakes Renaissance and Sellafield Ltd. It will be a bridge for school leavers to get into employment in the industry for the first time, enable existing workers to acquire new skills and build a foundation for further and higher education relative to the nuclear sector.

ENERGUS, the University of Cumbria, the University of Central Lancashire and the local further education centre Lakes College and the NDA are working together to create an integrated education campus, giving West Cumbria perhaps a unique approach to further, higher and vocational education. More generally in the field of higher education the NDA is already active in sponsoring relevant courses at both degree and masters level. This support helps reduce fees and hopefully attracts more people to courses. The NDA has also recently launched an industry wide graduate recruitment scheme. The two year programme ensures the graduates get a wide range of experience, with four secondments into different parts of the industry, including one overseas. The first wave of graduates are already on board, but more of them in later issues. With additional work also underway to create research and developments facilities and the potential for a national nuclear laboratory, the package of measures provide the building blocks to make the North West and Cumbria a global centre for energy, environment and technology expertise. The UK nuclear decommissioning industry is certainly a challenging environment in which to work, but one that can be extremely rewarding given the importance of the task it faces. 41

In all my twenty years of teaching I have never had an opportunity like this. When I told my class that I wasn’t going to be in school next Wednesday because I was going to spend the day making (and probably eating) chocolate at Slattery’s in Whitefield they didn’t really believe me. Why would they? It does sound a bit too good to be true. However, I was lucky enough to be one of the teachers selected to take part in a programme of professional development organised by the North west Education Business Partnership Network. The aim of the day was to update me on the careers and opportunities available to the young people I teach and for me to find out more about a successful local business. The day was fascinating, I met the inspirational man behind the business and he even spent time with us explaining the processes and procedures that go into making the products. Not only that….I learnt about how his business had transformed over the years, how he had taken risks and diversified the product range. We all had a go at making chocolates and even did a bit on the science behind perfect chocolate! I met young people who took pride in their work, who were creative and dedicated to their jobs. One young man had worked there for five years and began his career as a work experience student. He was making and decorating exquisite cakes for the children of premier league footballers!


When I came back to school on that Thursday morning I knew Year 10 would want to know how my trip to the chocolate factory had gone, but they were also very keen to sample some of the treats I made whilst learning so much about the business!

We all had a go at making chocolates and even did a bit on the science behind perfect chocolate!


Way2Go - North West 5  

May 2008 Way2Go - North West 5

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