Not so long ago, student George Barwick was feeling “a little lost” and didn’t know what the future held for him.
Now he says every day is different and he has a future career as an architectural technologist planned. He is enjoying work experience with Derby-based architects Morrison Design.
Eighteen-year-old George went straight from school to a Derby College engineering apprenticeship which he completed in one year instead of two.
But it wasn’t really where he saw his future. His eyes lit up when he learned through the college about Professional Construction, with the potential to eventually become an architectural technologist.
George completed the first year of his Level 3 course with a distinction and distinction*s and said enrolling was “the best thing I ever did”.
Now in his second year, George’s achievements are all the more remarkable because he has hearing problems after contracting meningitis as a baby.
His hearing gradually worsened and while he was completing his GCSEs, George had a cochlea ear implant fitted. His final grades shot up, through a combination of intense hard work and “because I could actually hear what everybody was talking about.”
The college provides a notetaker and transcriber to help him in lectures.
He aims to go on to complete further qualifications at university, ideally through an apprenticeship.George’s Derby College mentor is Anthony Page, senior architectural technologist at Morrison Design, and a member of the College’s Skills Academy.
The practice employs 22 people, with four of them coming via Derby College.
Anthony said: "We’ve been impressed with George’s enthusiasm and ability. The majority of the guys we’ve had from Derby College have also been fantastic. We’ve really got only good things to say about it.
“Our link is helping to provide Morrison Design with good young staff, who are effectively going to be the future of the company, and they get a good place to start from to go on to be an architectural technologist or a fully-fledged architect.”
The College gives that little bit extra. It has been extremely helpful. Brilliant. You get so much hands-on knowledge and experience.
If it wasn’t for the Skills Academy here, I wouldn’t be getting the practical skills that I need. Your mentor is part of the Skills Academy and it’s all about getting you prepared for a job, combining the academy process with learning about work.
I don’t know what I’d be doing if I hadn’t found this course. I felt a bit lost to the point where I was thinking ‘why did I work so hard on my GCSEs?’ It’s the best thing I ever did.