Former Northallerton School and Sixth Form College student James Walters


A ROLLS-ROYCE apprentice has given students new drive as they decide on their future career ambitions.

Former Northallerton School and Sixth Form student James Walters returned to his old classrooms to help students broaden their thinking about future carers and courses of study.

The Aim Higher event was also attended by university representatives, local employers, the Police, Army, Navy and RAF recruitment officers, County Hall administrators, council officials and further education colleges.

It aims to help students in Years 10 and 12 make more informed decisions over their future by seeking advice from education specialists and professionals in a wide range of careers.

James, 20, who was selected from thousands of hopefuls for an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce’s Derby factory, is continuing his employment with the leading aerospace company while finishing a degree and a masters in material science at Sheffield University.

“With an ever ageing workforce there have never been so many opportunities for young people to look at future careers within the science, technology and engineering industries,” said James.

“Events like these are great to help guide students, who may not have decided upon their future careers or higher education paths, and let them see the wealth of prospects that are out there and available to them.”

Students from Bedale High School and St Francis Xavier School, Richmond, were also invited to attended the event, which attracted local businesses Walter Thompson Construction and Yorkshire Bank, as well as Askham Bryan Agricultural College, Cleveland College of Art & Design, Hambleton District Council, and 13 universities.

The evening provided the opportunity for talks on choosing a university, making a UCAS application, higher education student finance, local employer opportunities, and applications to Oxbridge.

Northallerton School and Sixth Form College Year 13 manger Kathryn Redpath said: “This is our third annual Aim Higher event and our students have benefitted enormously from the huge amount of knowledge and experience made available to them.

“They took away a lot of really useful information which will enable them to make much more informed decisions about their future careers.”

Student Hannah Askew, 16, of Thornton-le-Beans, said: “I’m interested in a possible career with the police so it was really good to be able to come and speak to them and take away a lot of information.”

Anna Cowley, 16, of Brompton, added: “I wanted to learn more about the process of applying to university.

“There were lots of things I didn’t know about and I feel a lot more confident now after hearing all the different options available to me.”