STUDENTS have won high praise from a leading employer after successfully completing an education programme that takes them from apprentice to employment.
Twenty four business administration apprentices have completed their Level 2 studies in a joint programme with The Student Loans Company and Darlington College.
The business administration framework sees them secure an OCR diploma, while many of the recruits also achieved Level 2 Functional Skills and L1 Functional skills ICT
The complete cohort, aged 16-54, has been kept on by The Student Loans Company, a public body which provides students loans across the UK, whose offices are in Darlington.
Darlington College senior lecturer and assessor Debra McCabe said: “All the students have done incredibly well and thoroughly deserve their success and the positions they have been offered.
“The age range shows the opportunities on offer at Darlington College whether you are a school leaver or a mature student looking for new and rewarding challenges.”
SLC team leader Claire Sams said the apprenticeship scheme worked extremely well for her organisation.
“It is great to help young people through the transition from school into work and also as a means of offering older people the opportunity to use their skills and experience in a new setting.
“It has been fantastic seeing the apprentices develop and, with the amazing support of the college, grow in confidence and ability, offering us a pool of skilled and enthusiastic staff. SLC is a great place for people who want to develop their careers.”
For apprentice Alicia Santi the scheme has given her a new lease of life after being made redundant from a retail job she had enjoyed for the past 14 years.
“It was a shock to be made redundant and daunting to go back into education after so many years,” she said. “But the college and everyone else on the course have been so welcoming, friendly and supportive.”