Students get taste of working life at tunnel

Potential apprentices Aaron Symington (left) and Will Dobson (right) with TT2 maintenance officer Daniel Patterson.
Potential apprentices Aaron Symington (left) and Will Dobson (right) with TT2 maintenance officer Daniel Patterson.
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Two college students have spent a day working at the company that operates the Tyne Tunnels to get a taste of life as apprentices.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Aaron Symington, of Annitsford, and Will Dobson, of Benton, spent a day shadowing TT2 maintenance officer Daniel Patterson.

Aaron and Will, both 16, are studying for City and Guilds certificates in engineering and level-two NVQs in performing engineering operations at Tyne Metropolitan College in Wallsend.

Daniel, a former apprentice, is responsible for all aspects of maintenance in the tunnels and the toll plaza during his shifts, making him ideally placed to give the two teenagers an insight into working at the river crossing.

The two students assisted Daniel and current TT2 apprentices, who work to keep the tunnels open, facilitating more than 50,000 journeys across the Tyne each day.

TT2 has a 100 per cent success rate in securing employment for its apprentices and currently employs two, alongside five former apprentices.

Rachel Turnbull, Chief Executive of TT2 Limited said: “Fostering the next generation of skilled people is vital, not just for our organisation, but for the economy of the North East in general. Apprenticeships are a good route to a great career for many young people. They offer a vocational route to good jobs, rather than the academic one that many people assume is the only way into a lot of careers.

“The apprentices and former apprentices at TT2 work tirelessly to keep the tunnels open and keep the north east moving. We’re proud that when we offer a local young person a job or apprenticeship we give them the option to stay on Tyneside.”

Deputy Head of Engineering, Emma Williams said: “The experience that Aaron and Will gained at TT2 will be invaluable to them when they’re making decisions about their futures. City and Guilds qualifications are a great route combining work with apprenticeships for young people at TyneMet and throughout the country.”