James Blanchard

Course: Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship Engineering (Technical Support)

Previous school: Tanfield School

James was already studying at New College Durham when he chose to undertake an apprenticeship. The decision to progress within the College was easy for him as he knew the staff were very helpful and would support him throughout his apprenticeship.

He said:

“I chose to do my apprenticeship with New College Durham because it was where I first started my studies. I wanted to carry on studying there because all of the staff involved with the Level 3 Mechanical Engineering course were very approachable and helpful. I knew I would receive the help I needed to complete my apprenticeship.

“An apprenticeship seemed more appealing to me because I could earn money and learn a trade. I had the opportunity to learn from my employer while on-the-job and from my peers whilst on day release at college.

“The staff were the best thing about the College. They were always there to help you to the best of their ability and to make sure you completed all your assignments to a high standard. The facilities were great to work with too. Having access to the workshops and CAD suite was really beneficial.

“My apprenticeship experience was very smooth thanks to working with New College Durham and GastroNorth. The College is great and always has a buzzing atmosphere around the campus.

“Whilst studying on the mechanical engineering course we got the chance to visit Land Rover and Jaguar to gain insight into the manufacturing of cars. We also took part in a team building enrichment day where we went Go-Karting and paintballing. This was a great opportunity for the class to bond with the lecturers.

James completed his apprenticeship with GastroNorth, a professional foodservice distributor, and received the Advanced Engineering (Technical Support) Apprenticeship Award as recognition for his hard work, passion and enthusiasm to learn.

James said:

“I am passionate about what I do and my hard work has paid off as I have secured a full-time engineering design role with GastroNorth. My plans for the future are to take as much knowledge as I can from my colleagues at GastroNorth to progress my career. A role is design is the more prominent future for me but I wouldn’t say no to ever moving into a higher role as New College Durham has taught me to challenge and push myself to achieve greater things.”

James described his time at New College Durham as educational, rewarding and exciting. After completing his apprenticeship, James was promoted to a significant full-time role as a Design Engineer at GastroNorth.