It was an unusual start to the week for two students from South Wiltshire University Technical College (UTC) on a cold February Monday morning. Instead of sitting with their friends waiting for lessons to start, 17-year-old Grace Brown and 16-year-old Sam Webb, were live on the BBC Radio Wiltshire breakfast show.
UTC Principal Joe Mulligan was live on air talking to journalist Karen Gardner, about the unrivalled opportunities his students have to work with top employers, and about increasing the number of girls attending the college to 26% in Year 10.
BBC Radio Wiltshire is running a series of reports looking at the important role played by the military in Wiltshire life.
The UTC on Wilton Road, Salisbury, has strong links with the Army and the Royal Navy. A-Level student Grace Brown recently secured an engineer’s job with the Royal Navy, working on its fleet of helicopters.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I came to the UTC,” said Grace, who lives in Salisbury. “It wasn’t until I started here and joined different groups, like the Combined Cadet Force, that I realised I wanted to join the Navy.”
Grace had to go through a rigorous interview process before she was selected. GCSE student Sam Webb, with Sam Ryalls, who was interviewed by Karen later, both attended a week-long work experience event with the Army in Devon. Sam Webb told BBC Wiltshire he is considering a career in the Army but he’s keeping an open mind.
“Being here at the UTC has given me options,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sam Ryalls has his sights on joining the Commando Regiment.
“I want to do something that is physical and demanding,” he stressed.
All three students agreed that being interviewed on the radio was a great experience and something they can add to their CV.