HNC engineering student Darren Hall

Darren Hall

When 19-year-old Darren Hall was doing a Level 2 diploma in engineering at school he used to come to the college with his classmates one afternoon a week to use the facilities in the engineering workshop.

After leaving school at 16 Darren joined the college as a full-time student, first studying for the Level 3 diploma in manufacturing engineering, followed by the extended diploma, and now, as an apprentice at Mann + Hummel, he attends one day a week working towards the HNC in manufacturing engineering.

Darren said: “I wanted to do an apprenticeship as you get an education and industry experience at the same time, whereas if I’d chosen to do the HNC at university it would have just been classroom-based and wouldn’t have given me the opportunity to apply my knowledge in a working environment.

“The facilities at college are far better than at school and the tutors have specialised knowledge as they have worked in the industry and have first-hand experience of the situations you can face in the workplace.

“If you’re willing to put the work in, an apprenticeship, and the opportunities it brings, are the best route into the industry – you get paid to carry on learning as well as gaining important work experience which will help you to get where you want to be in your future career.”

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