Wilmslow Express - - NEWS -

RAF­FORD Col­lege en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent Oliver Skel­land is cel­e­brat­ing af­ter cross­ing the fin­ish line as win­ner of a highly sought af­ter ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme with ‘Mercedes AMG High Per­for­mance Pow­er­trains.

Oliver, 20, from Ec­cles was pre­vi­ously crowned Stu­dent of the Year in a Mercedes AMG com­pe­ti­tion as part of a new part­ner­ship be­tween the Col­lege and HPP in Northamp­ton­shire. In the first com­pe­ti­tion of its kind, en­gi­neer­ing and mo­tor ve­hi­cle stu­dents from the col­lege were ob­served and had their work eval­u­ated, as­sessed on fac­tors such as at­ten­dance, punc­tu­al­ity, ded­i­ca­tion and their per­for­mance through­out the pro­gramme.

The high­est rank­ing stu­dent won a guar­an­teed in­ter­view with HPP for a place on their highly sought af­ter ap­pren­tice­ship scheme. Oliver was awarded the cov­eted ti­tle in recog­ni­tion of his out­stand­ing per­for­mance on his course and went on to ap­ply for the Ad­vanced Ap­pren­tice­ship with Mercedes HPP, who de­sign, de­velop and man­u­fac­ture the Mercedes-Benz For­mula 1 rac­ing en­gines and hy­brid sys­tems.

De­spite a large short­list of more than 60 tal­ented stu­dents from across the coun­try, Oliver was se­lected as one of just seven stu­dents to em­bark on the ad­vanced three­year ap­pren­tice­ship at Mercedes and he is now look­ing for­ward to start­ing his pro­gramme as ap­pren­tice as­sem­bly tech­ni­cian in Septem­ber.

He said of his achieve­ment: “When I was of­fered the place I was very ex­cited as there were only a few open­ings, so to be ac­cepted is a mas­sive achieve­ment es­pe­cially as so many ap­plied. “I pre­vi­ously stud­ied A Lev­els, but they just weren’t the right choice for me so I de­cided to choose the vo­ca­tional en­gi­neer­ing course. Traf­ford Col­lege has a re­ally good rep­u­ta­tion and its new cen­tre for science and tech­nol­ogy has amaz­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

“The col­lege’s part­ner­ship with Mercedes is re­ally great and it gives young peo­ple like my­self the op­por­tu­nity to work for a big com­pany. Af­ter I have fin­ished the ap­pren­tice­ship, I hope to go to uni­ver­sity to im­prove my abil­ity even fur­ther and move up the ca­reer lad­der with Mercedes.”

Stu­art Boyer, em­ployee devel­op­ment manager for HPP, said: “We’re giv­ing stu­dents the chance to se­cure a ca­reer in en­gi­neer­ing which is a po­ten­tially enor­mous op­por­tu­nity for young peo­ple. Work­ing along­side Traf­ford Col­lege we are able to tap into a wide pool of tal­ent and raise aware­ness of the great op­por­tu­ni­ties we have avail­able at HPP.”

Sir Bill Moor­croft, Prin­ci­pal of Traf­ford Col­lege added: “I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted to hear of Oliver’s suc­cess in se­cur­ing an ap­pren­tice­ship with one of the world’s lead­ers in en­gi­neer­ing. Oliver is a very wor­thy win­ner and his achieve­ments are tes­ta­ment to his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion through­out his time with us. This new chap­ter is the start of a very bright fu­ture for him and I wish him ev­ery suc­cess.

“As a col­lege it’s im­por­tant for us to de­velop re­la­tion­ships with world-class com­pa­nies like HPP to give our stu­dents the best op­por­tu­ni­ties to progress into high pro­file ca­reers.”

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