Photo by Neil Denham

Two college students have spent a day working at TT2 Limited, which 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, both 16, spent the day shadowing Maintenance Officer Daniel Patterson. Aaron and Will are both studying for City and Guilds Certificates in Engineering, and Level 2 NVQs in Performing Engineering Operations, at TyneMet 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 potential apprentices an insight into working at the crossing. The two students assisted Daniel and current TT2 apprentices, whose work to keep the tunnels open, facilitating more than 50,000 journeys across the Tyne each day.

TT2 Limited, who have a 100% success rate in securing employment for their apprentices currently employ two, who work 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.”