College programme spells success for Peterlee teenager

Left to Right: Ian West of Seaward and Sally Hudson of the Apollo Studio Academy with new starter Dan Salmon.
Left to Right: Ian West of Seaward and Sally Hudson of the Apollo Studio Academy with new starter Dan Salmon.

An electronics firm has become one of the first companies to support a new local education model by giving a local youngster his first step into the world of work.

Dan Salmon, 18, is starting out on his working career with Seaward, in Peterlee, after spending over a year with the firm on work placement from the Apollo Studio Academy.

Apollo Studio Academy, based on the East Durham College site, is specifically designed to prepare young people for work by combining their studies with work experience with local employers.

Since starting at Apollo, Dan has been spending one day a week at Seaward to gain practical experience of working life and learning more about what different jobs involve.

Now, after being interviewed for a job as a print room technician, he has been handed a full-time role with the company, although he will continue to be supported by Apollo so that he can complete his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering course that ends in June.

Dan, of Peterlee, said: “It’s great that I’ve been given a job with a local company and start a new career like this.

“The opportunity to spend time away from school means you can learn more about different types of work and what employers expect from you.

“The whole experience has been really worthwhile and I’m now looking forward to a new permanent role with Seaward.”

The Apollo Studio Academy, which has a focus on manufacturing, engineering and healthcare related careers, was specifically set up to bridge the gap between education and work.

Sally Hudson, principal of Apollo Studio Academy, said: “We have developed excellent links with local employers like Seaward who tell us that they need young people who are ready and able to step into jobs when they leave education.”

Ian West, operations director, said: “As a successful business it is important that we can continue to develop the local skills we need to support the future growth of the company.”