A STUDENT has taken the first step on her career path thanks to a national pilot scheme for future technical qualifications.

Darlington College engineer Victoria Bennett is one of a 100 students testing out new industrial placements, which embed 45 days of work experience into a Level 3 qualification.

Darlington has been selected from just 51 colleges nationwide to trial the new structure which is likely to be introduced by 2020.

Students were invited to take part from a range of curriculum areas including engineering, childcare, health and social care, sport, digital construction and business administration.

Victoria, 17, of Catterick Village, is about to start her two-days-a-week placement with Subsea Innovation, Darlington.

“I have always been interested in engineering and helped by granddad and dad tinker with engines,” she said.

“Pops was into his custom cars and motorbikes, he was so cool, and dad, who works for Siemens in Germany, loves his Land Rovers.

“Since I was a girl I have always looked to the stars and told my family that one day I would go visit them. It wasn’t until I started school that I realised that could be a possibility.”