A Nelson and Colne College Engineering student has been offered an Apprenticeship at a leading local firm after a successful spell of work experience.

Sophie Holgate, 17, took just three days to convince bosses at Nelson company Bright Engineering that she was exactly what the growing business needed before she was offered an Apprenticeship starting in September of this year.

Sophie, who is heading for D*D*D* in her Engineering course at NCC, showed aptitude and enthusiasm during her short period of work experience and Bright are now set to invest in Sophie’s continued career development and progression through a Higher National Certificate (HNC) qualification.

A delighted Sophie, a former Pendle Vale College student, said: “My work experience was great at Bright. I had the chance to learn how to program and set CNC machines and work in a real life Engineering environment.

“The offer of an Apprenticeship is fantastic and it is a really good feeling that they have that faith in me. I have already been asked to go back on my study days, during the Easter holidays and throughout the summer. I’m really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to start.”

Bright, who are based on the Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, are a precision engineering company serving a wide range of industry sectors including aerospace, defence, avionics, lighting, medical and scientific markets.

Nelson and Colne College has worked increasingly closely with the company over the last couple of years in order to support Bright’s future ambitions, and between 15% and 20% of Bright’s workforce are either current or recent Apprentices.

Managing Director Jon Hoyle said: “We were delighted to be able to offer Sophie an Apprenticeship as she really impressed our section leaders here in such a short space of time.

“The support we have had from Nelson and Colne College has been superb and we really feel that the Engineering department listens to and understands our needs. They have been great in matching students with us.

“Apprentices have been extremely beneficial for the business as we have previously struggled to recruit younger employees with the necessary skills.”

Nelson and Colne College’s Vice Principal Alison Rushton said: “Supporting the local economy with a pool of talented, work-ready young people is one of the college’s core principles and I’m thrilled that we have been able to successfully do exactly that working with Bright Engineering.

“Apprentices are an absolutely vital component to growing the economy, and this is an excellently timed piece of good news as we celebrate the role of Apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week. We wish Sophie all the best in her Apprenticeship and look forward to continuing our relationship with Bright Engineering.”

Nelson and Colne College is the second best college in the country for its 16-18 Apprenticeship success. For more information on Apprenticeships with Nelson and Colne College, contact the Apprenticeship Team on 01282 440319 or go to www.nelson.ac.uk/apprenticeships

The college will hold a Year 9 and 10 Open Event on Monday 30 April from 5.30pm until 7.30pm. Students will have the opportunity to gain advice and course information from tutors, find out about our extensive and constantly-evolving extracurricular offer, ask about our unique Pre-Professional Programmes and get involved with ‘have a go’ activities and skills demonstrations.

There will also be the chance to learn more about NCC’s Pre-Apprenticeship Engineering Programme which develops employability skills while building industry knowledge, and includes links with employers, interview opportunities, guest lectures and much more.

NCC will also be holding a Careers Expo on Thursday 28 June between 5.30pm and 7.30pm where businesses and staff will be on hand to talk about Apprenticeship, work experience or volunteering opportunities, as well as ‘live’ job vacancies.

For more information about Nelson and Colne College contact 01282 440272 or visit www.nelson.ac.uk