Tyne Metropolitan College is delivering innovative, industry geared advanced apprenticeships to drive higher level skills in the region.

Advanced apprenticeships are distinctive, quality driven higher level qualifications that combine theory with practical learning in specialised sectors. Within the energy sector, TyneMet’s Mayhar Varshochi, who is studying an advanced apprenticeship in Level 4 Project Management as an Apprentice Planner at the world leading energy giant, GE Oil and Gas said:

“I always knew I wanted to work in the energy sector and thought A Levels were my only option. I started sixth form studies but it wasn’t for me. I like to learn in a practical setting, I have an inquisitive mind and an apprenticeship really suits my way of learning. An apprenticeship has allowed me to discover the world of work in a really insightful environment. As a planner I’m part of some really big and revolutionary projects for the energy sector and it’s a very exciting time.

The apprenticeship process was tough; you’re competing with the cream of the crop. I was delighted to secure the apprenticeship out of hundreds of applicants. I feel like I’m on track for a really successful career. Planning is a fascinating area to work in – I’ve had the opportunity to implement new systems on a global level and gain rich experience in the sector.”

Mayhar who is originally from Iran was brought up in Newcastle and witnessed his granddad work extremely hard to provide for his family, building up a business in electronics. Mayhar’s granddad was keen to see his grandson accomplish great things and has helped the family to go to University.

“There is a long tradition in my family to go to University and then get a job but I felt an apprenticeship offered me the chance to learn in an environment where I can demonstrate my skills, gain a great qualification and be ahead of my game. The great thing is, I can still go to University as my qualification is fully recognised but with an apprenticeship background I have the work based knowledge to secure my future. My family can see the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship and are very supportive of my decision.”

This is the first time GE Oil and Gas have taken on an apprentice in the planning department for the Subsea division, Mayhar’s Line Manager, Lisa Armstrong said: “Mayhar has proven to be a valuable member of the team. He is utilising the skills he is learning on the course at TyneMet and applying them to day to day work deliverables including managing a project in a global situation by ensuring communication flow is flawless.”

Head of Apprenticeships at TyneMet Pat Blyth said:

“We have worked hard to engage businesses in the advanced apprenticeship programme by collaborating with some of the world’s leading businesses. It is evident that Mayhar’s success derives from his determined and focused attitude. We are delighted that GE Oil and Gas recognise and support the immense potential in apprenticeships. At TyneMet we are focused on delivering the very best in higher level apprenticeship provision for businesses and continue to build partnerships in the region and beyond.”