Thursday, 28th June 2018
STUDENTS have been given fresh drive
STUDENTS have been given fresh drive in an initiative designed to make them even more valuable to potential employers.
From September, young people studying fulltime courses at Darlington College will be eligible for free driving lessons.
The scheme is aimed at all students aged 16-18, but those living in rural areas, such as North Yorkshire and County Durham, who often find themselves isolated even though they have the necessary employment skills, are expected to benefit the most.
To qualify for the initial set of driving lessons students must show at least a 90 per cent attendance rate from September to Christmas, including maths and English modules where applicable.
A further set of lessons will be approved if they maintain their attendance rate until Easter putting them well on the road to passing their driving test.
Darlington College marketing manager Claire Turner explained: “Many students receive help with transport while they are at college but this initiative is designed to be even more sustainable.
“Being able to drive opens a host of avenues with potential employers and really is equipping them with skills for life.
“This scheme applies to new students and those returning to continue their studies. School leavers who come to us at 16 also qualify and will be able to keep the lessons until they are able to get a provisional driving licence at 17.”
Level 3 public services students welcomed the scheme. Regan Blewitt, 17, of Richmond, said: “I find it really difficult relying on public transport when you live in a rural area like Richmond. I have no one who can give me lifts anywhere and I think this is an amazing idea which will certainly give me complete independence.”
Her colleague Lewis Johnson, 17, of Darlington, added: “I am hoping to join the police after college and being able to drive will be an incredible boost, particularly as I would love to work in the traffic policing department like on the TV series Interceptors. I think being able to drive will have a huge impact on all students as they try to secure jobs after leaving Darlington College.”
The driving lesson initiative is part of a raft of benefits available to Darlington College students to complement their studies.
They also receive free term-time Dolphin Centre membership to access the pool and gym facilities, which saves them around £187 a year, help with the cost of travel, kit, equipment, national and international visits and trips, free breakfasts, free hair and nail sessions, free childcare for under 20s, work experience placements with key employers and free sports and clubs.
Further information on the driving lesson scheme will be available on enrolment. For more information on opportunities at Darlington College visit www.darlington.ac.uk.