From education to employment

Telford teenager secures training role with British Army

A Telford teenager is preparing to start training with the British Army after completing his public uniformed services studies.

Stephen Swinn, 18, began his journey at Telford College on a level two sport course, but decided to switch subjects mid-way through his studies.

Now, after completing level three public uniformed services, the former Hadley Learning Community and Telford Priory School student is set to begin basic training with the Army in Catterick on February 12.

Stephen, from Overdale, said: “After deciding sport wasn’t for me, I wasn’t originally going to come back to college, but I’m glad I decided to give it another go after speaking to my family.

“My family members have served in various armed forces, so I naturally had an interest in public services.”

Stephen said he enjoyed the 50-50 split on the public uniformed services course between practical and theory-based learning. Straight away, he said he knew that it was the sector he wanted to work in.

“My teachers, Craig Stockman and Carl Hickman, have been a massive help in terms of making sure my fitness and knowledge are up to the required standards before starting basic training.” Stephen said.

“If I could give one piece of advice for anyone starting college, it is to never choose a course just because your friends are doing it. You might not speak to them in a couple of years’ time, but the course you take will help you in your future career.

“Choose something you want to learn about – because you’re more likely to enjoy being at college if you do.”

Mel Newbrook, learner manager for sport and public uniformed services at Telford College, said: “Stephen originally completed level two sport even though he struggled with motivation.

“He asked to come back to do level three public uniformed services and has completely excelled ever since. He is such a different student in terms of attendance and behaviour. We wish him the best of luck in his new venture.”

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