When Catherine Barrass left school, never in her wildest dreams did she think she would land the job she has today.
The 27-year-old now works at the nuclear reprocessing site Sellafield in Cumbria and says she owes it all to the staff at Henley College.
“I wouldn’t be doing what I do now without Henley College,” she said. “They started it all off for me. They gave me the support to go for it and were nothing but supportive and nurturing every step of the way.”
When Catherine left school, her grades were not good enough to do A Levels. But she knew she wanted to do an apprenticeship. She loved discovering how things worked and wanted to go down the engineering route.
So she visited Henley during an open day and her life changed for good.
“I met the then head of Engineering,and he totally believed in me. He inspired me and told me that if it was what I really wanted, they would make it happen for me.”
Catherine was named Apprentice of the Year during her time at Henley and, after finishing with a clutch of qualifications, she landed an apprenticeship at Alston Power in Rugby.
“My tutor made it all happen for me,” she said. “He had lots of great contacts and encouraged me to go for it.”
After finishing her apprenticeship at Alston in 2007, Catherine visited a graduate fair in Birmingham and put herself forward for the job at Sellafield.
“I have nothing but praise for Henley College and the support they gave me,” Catherine added.
“I have met some brilliant people along with way who have been so supportive. I would say to anyone thinking of going along to the college to just go; speak to them. It worked for me.”
l For details of how an apprenticeship can help you achieve the job of your dreams log on to wwww.henley-cov.ac.uk