Meet Paul Dickinson, one of our talented Skills Development Managers for Northern Skills!
Paul started his journey at Middlesbrough College as an apprentice and is now working as a Skills Development Manager for the apprenticeship and training arm of Middlesbrough College, Northern Skills Group.
Paul started his journey at Middlesbrough College in 2010. He was working in retail and wanted a complete career change, so he decided to apply for a Business Admin apprenticeship at Middlesbrough College.
Paul said: “When I first started as an apprentice I was nervous as I had never worked in an office environment before, so it was all a bit new and strange for me. However, I quickly settled in thanks to the support of my colleagues. I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship! Some people find it difficult learning in a traditionally academic way. For many others, and me, I found that practical learning helped me to pick up the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed in the workplace- as well as that, being paid helped too!
“My top tips for any students who are nervously awaiting their apprenticeship interview is to simply be yourself and be prepared with questions. Remember you want to find out about the business as much they do about you. You also need to relax- remember that it’s an interview not interrogation. And, most importantly, enjoy yourself!
“To be a successful apprentice I believe that you need to be open minded and willing to learn. An apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity to grow within a business.
“I’ve worked at Middlesbrough College for nearly twelve years now and I’ve met so many lovely people. The College has always been supportive of me and there are loads of opportunities here for progression.
“After completing my Level 2 and Level 3 Business Admin course, I became a clerk to the office and then an administrator. I then moved into a role within the Schools Liaison Team, promoting Middlesbrough College to school students and informing them of the different courses we have on offer. This role was a fantastic job, which I really enjoyed!
“I then progressed to become a Skills Development Manager in May 2021 and I now work with employers who are looking to upskill their staff or taking on an apprentice.
“I’ve had my own personal up and downs whilst working at the College, but the support I’ve received from colleagues has been amazing. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some truly fantastic and kind people. There’s a real sense of community at The Middlesbrough College Group, which I love.
“In my new role you’ll find me all over Teesside, meeting businesses and helping them to strengthen their workforces. I love meeting new people and finding out what their business is all about. The thing I love most about my role is that I play a huge part in starting someone’s dream career.
“There have been far too many highlights over my years at the College to mention just one; however the progression of my personal career is definitely up there. Also knowing that I just have to walk downstairs from the office to taste the world famous chicken nuggets!
“My advice to anyone thinking of applying to Middlesbrough College for an apprenticeship is to go for it! I’ve had amazing support and the progression has been brilliant, I’ve also loved meeting all the different characters here.
“In my spare time I love to play football, although I’m slowing down as I get older! I also feature on a podcast that I created with my friends and we were recently in the top 10% of indie podcasts on Spotify!”