Case Study: Ben at Newcastle College

Eighteen-year-old Ben Caisley is doing a one-year level 3 Diploma in Electronics Engineering (PT) from Collab Group member Newcastle College. Ben applied to study at Newcastle College through his employer JB Microscopes Ltd. Here’s his story…

Ben said, “I always really wanted to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university, since I learn better practically, and I’d rather be out working than constantly studying, studying, studying.

“I chose to study at Newcastle College though because it’s pretty convenient for me to get to, since it’s the closest major college to me other than Ashington. I’d heard very good reports about the teaching and support at Newcastle College, so I reflected on what I needed out of my qualifications and decided to apply to study at Newcastle College instead. I’m so glad I made that call since I haven’t regretted that decision one bit.

“It’s been a good experience! The environment here at Newcastle College is pretty relaxed. The lecturers are all good, and very experienced. All my teachers and tutors are good at making each lesson interesting in their own way, while also getting the essential points across. The college facilities themselves are pretty good, since we’ve got our own dedicated computer suites and labs to practice and train in, and the overall atmosphere of the buildings here are really nice.

“Every one of my tutors is able to relate their teachings and lesson content to whatever skills I’m practically developing at work on my apprenticeship. You can tell someone who’s only got academic qualifications from someone with real, practical experience, since the latter can provide the hand-to-hand experience and little tricks of the trade they’ve acquired through years in industry. Thankfully, that’s the case for all my tutors!

“I’m learning a lot in Newcastle College about the theory, but my apprenticeship is where I really get to explore and apply the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt. I’m training to be a service engineer, so in my classes I learn the mechanical principles and the electronics side of the course, and then on my apprenticeship I go out and put that knowledge into practice. I think this approach will really help me to make my way in employment once I graduate from Level 3.

“I think I’d like to remain in the same field of work as my apprenticeship. Hopefully I’ll build up a strong reputation over the years to climb up the service engineer business ladder, using the qualifications that I’ll hopefully gain on this course.”

If you’d like to find out more about studying for a level 4/5, HTE or HTQ qualification delivered by a Collab Group member college, click here.

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