North East Connected

UK’s biggest container port and Aston Martin provide work experience for Ripon pupils

A TEENAGER with a passion for shipping is set to follow in his late grandfather’s footsteps after experiencing a week in the life of the UK’s busiest and biggest container port.

Jack Ibbotson got to take the helm of a pilot vessel, go aboard a tug and vast container ships and visit a little known principality when he spent a week at the Ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.

The 14-year-old Ripon Grammar School pupil wrote to the Port to ask for work experience and after completing his placement has confirmed his plans to follow a maritime career, following a tradition set by his grandfather Robin Beedel who worked on ferries and cruise ships.

“It was an amazing week. I got to learn rope-tying, did an oil spill test and stability course, drove a crane simulator, learned how to work out the costs of oversize cargo and even practised my German with a ship’s captain. I must also thank portmaster Ashley Parker, who was my excellent supervisor.

“My grandfather would be very pleased that I want to go to maritime college. My aim is to start on cruise ships then become a pilot at Felixstowe or Harwich,” said Jack, of Burton Leonard.

He was one of a number of fourth year pupils who secured placements they say will positively influence their future career choices.

Charlotte Crum, 15, of Ripon, was offered an apprenticeship after her week at Econ, in Ripon, which makes gritters, snowploughs and other vehicles for councils across the UK and the world.

Grammar School business teacher Bob Walker said: “The company told me Charlotte was the best young welder they’d had; she was a natural and learned it quicker and better than graduates they’ve employed.”

Jasper Wood, 15, of Burneston, has been invited back to Aston Martin, in Warwickshire, after impressing designers of the luxury cars.

He explained: “I applied about four months ago which was quite nerve-wracking as I didn’t know if I’d get a place but my dad has always told me to aim high and go for what you want.”

George Morris, 14, of Middleton Quernhow, has been offered a part-time job with SCI Green Innovators after his week at work, secured following a formal interview process. The company extracts materials from natural products in a commercially sensitive process which has inspired George to pursue a career in science.

Fifteen-year-olds Araminta Praud and Paloma Calvert are hoping to return to Betty’s after experiencing life in the craft bakery, and cafe and shop, in Harrogate.

“I’m interested in the business and marketing side but in the meantime I’d love a Saturday job,” said Paloma, 15, of Langthorpe.

Araminta, of Kirby Hill, got to pipe icing on some of Betty’s famous fondant fancies and make macaroons.

She added: “Confectionary was my favourite part of the craft bakery. Seeing all the different parts of the process and the care and focus on perfection that goes into every product was just amazing.”

Mr Walker added: “We encourage the students to pursue their own aspirations for work experience so that the week is a really valuable insight into a possible career and so that they can be a motivated addition to their host organisation. The placements they secured were outstanding.”


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