Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Marathon Journey for Apprentice Annie to Engineer Career Success

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Marathon Journey for Apprentice Annie to Engineer Career Success

Article excerpt

SCHOOLGIRL Annie Wilson is completing a 125-mile round trip every day to ensure she achieves her dream of becoming an engineer.

Annie, 17, rises at 5am each day for the journey from her home in Berwick-upon-Tweed to the Engineering Training Centre on Newcastle's Scotswood Road to learn from some of the country's top engineering instructors.

Such is her determination to follow her father into an engineering career, that she enrolled as a pupil at Newcastle's Excelsior Academy Sixth Form College which has a highly successful partnership with the training centre.

Twenty-four Excelsior sixth-formers are hand-picked each year for the opportunity to work towards a four-year apprenticeship programme with the Engineering Training Centre, learning the skills prized by top employers across the country.

A year of training centre learning and school classroom-based study will be followed by a potential three-year placement at a top North East engineering firm for Annie and the promise of a successful career.

Training centre staff are impressed by her skills, attitude and enthusiasm - as well as her determination to get to work each day by 7.30am.

"It's a long way to travel every day but it's worth it," said Annie, who takes the train and a bus to reach the Engineering Training Centre each morning and then back home every night.

"My friends thought it was crazy, but when I told them what I'm doing and where it could lead, they think it's not as crazy as it sounded at first."

Annie's 13-hour days, five days a week, are paying off. She is learning essential new skills such as welding, fabrication, machining, computeraided design and electrical wiring. She took the huge decision not to stay with her friends in further education in Berwick, to pursue an apprenticeship place with the Engineering Training Centre - located within the Michell Bearings factory on Scotswood Road. …

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