UK's first tunnel operations apprentices appointed at Tyne Tunnels

Apprentices Mackenzie Sharpe, left, and Daniel Parkin, with TT2 operations manager Stu Sutton.
Apprentices Mackenzie Sharpe, left, and Daniel Parkin, with TT2 operations manager Stu Sutton.
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The UK's first tunnel operations apprentices have been appointed to work at the Tyne Tunnels.

Mackenzie Sharpe, 16, and Daniel Parkin, 18, have been employed as apprentice tunnels officers by TT2 Limited, the operator of the tunnels.

It is part of a programme delivered by TT2 in conjunction with TyneMet College.

As part of their apprenticeship, the teenagers will complete a Level 3 diploma in road tunnel operations, and a Level 2 intermediate apprenticeship in customer service with TyneMet.

Mandy Watson, human resources and payroll manager at TT2 Limited, said: “At TT2 we have a well-established track record of offering apprenticeships to local young people.

"The academic route isn’t for everyone, and the vocational path offered by apprenticeships opens up great career opportunities for many young people.

“We created the tunnels officer apprenticeship to ensure we have well-trained staff who can manage the day-to-day running of the tunnels and deliver caring and considerate customer service."

The scheme was created by TT2 to complement its existing apprenticeship programme training engineers for the maintenance of the tunnels.

The apprenticeship’s strong focus on customer service reflects TT2’s commitment to providing the best possible experience for the tens of thousands of motorists that use the tunnels every day.

Alexandra Park, business development executive at TyneMet College, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with TT2 to create the tunnels officer apprenticeship programme.

"This is a great example of how flexible apprenticeships can be, and how we as a further education provider can tailor what we do to suit the needs of local employers."