A young engineer has become Teesside Airport’s first apprentice.

Sam Martin, 18, grew up just a couple of miles from the airport in Long Newton and took on a T-Level in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Middlesbrough College.

Now he’s been welcomed to the airport as an Air Traffic Engineer Apprentice and started work this week.

Sam said: “I’ve always had an interest in the airport, but I didn’t know an awful lot about what people do. If you told me two years ago I’d go on and do this, I never would have thought of it - but this interested me when the chance came about.”

A visit to the college by Air Traffic Engineering Manager Nick Jones set Sam on the path to the airport.

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The former Egglescliffe School pupil is the first member of his family to go into the aviation industry and has urged others to find out more about opportunities at Teesside.

Sam said: “My goal at the moment is to pass my HNC (Higher National Certificate) qualification and to eventually get fully qualified at Level 2.

“It’s local, and the people here have been really good to me in the past couple of months or so. For anyone looking to do the role it’s a very good place to start.

“There’s a lot of great equipment with small groups of people – and people can take on a full career here.

“You can go far.”

The airport regularly hosts engagement events with Teesside University and colleges in the region and Phil Forster, Managing Director of Teesside Airport, said: “It’s great to see a local lad in Sam starting out on his career with us and becoming our first ever apprentice.

“Giving job opportunities to our next generation is absolutely vital if our area is to succeed – and it’s no different for our airport.

“Sam has made a real impression this year and we’re delighted to welcome him on board. He is the first and we hope we can bring on even more apprentices in the near future.”