STUDENTS are vying to be The Apprentice in a contest to secure their dream job.

Woodham Community Technology College has joined forces with Ta llent Automotive Ltd, in Newton Aycliffe, to offer students an apprenticeship.

For the third year in succession, Woodham Community Technology College has launched The Apprentice competition, a project in which students are put through their paces in a similar way to the popular television series featuring entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar.

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Deputy headteacher Jonathan Lumb said: "The year 11 students are given a range of tasks to complete over a six-week period, which are demonstrated to the judges from Ta llent and from the school.

"The student who impresses the judges the most will be given an apprenticeship at Ta llent, which is a fantastic opportunity for their futures and a brilliant learning experience."

Students were given tasks to challenge their skills around design, maintenance, materials, cost awareness and marketing.

Joshua Scott, 15, of Newton Aycliffe, said: "The scheme is brilliant as it relates to realities in the work place and it gives us a real taste of the future."

Gareth Clarkson, 15, of Newton Aycliffe, added: "It is nerve-wracking doing the presentations, but it is a good way for the judges to get to know us. It would mean everything to me to win - it would set me up for life."

David Pearson, of Tallent, said: "Having this link with the school helps us to select someone who really can grow with us, which is a huge opportunity for them."