Students Riding High at Local Theme Park


A successful work experience placement scheme between East Coast College and Pleasurewood Hills Family Theme Park, has led to paid employment for three local students.
Mathew Challis, Aaron Dobson and Hayden Wright made such a positive impression during the placement that they have been invited to stay on at the Lowestoft theme park to join the seasonal team. Matthew has also been given a great start to his career as he has been offered an engineering apprenticeship with the park.

The placements began in February and a total of 25 engineering students have been visiting the park on a weekly basis to learn about the operations side of Pleasurewood Hills. The students have been working alongside qualified engineers in the mornings to conduct the pre-operational checks on the junior rides and also assisted the team with the major rides such as Wipeout, which is the East of England’s tallest and most extreme rollercoaster.

Mark Satchell, Technical Manager for Pleasurewood Hills said: “In the realm of theme parks of this type in the area, the onus is on employers such as us to create and maintain a pool of engineers with the relevant skills to come in behind more experienced engineers in this industry. As we all get to be that little bit older, it’s crucial we invest in the engineers of tomorrow. On a personal note, being a local from the area, it is good to be able to offer the chance for local talent to progress, improve and shine. To be able to instigate something like this at the park is one of the first aims I had when I took on this role, as I think it is important we develop and grow our own infrastructure within the industry and work with colleges to encourage the young people of the region and show them that there are jobs in the local community which can benefit many. The standard of students we’ve coached from East Coast College has been high, but Matthew, Aaron and Hayden in particular have shone, and we’re delighted to welcome them as part of our busy team.”

The success of the programme was officially celebrated at a presentation ceremony held at Pleasurewood Hills. All of the students were presented with certificates and Matthew, Aaron and Hayden also received trophies. The ceremony was attended by Adam Noble, Managing Director of Pleasurewood Hills, Ruth Harrison Deputy Principal of East Coast College, Jules Shorrock, Board Chair at Lowestoft & Waveney Chamber of Commerce and Councillor Frank Mortimer Chairman of Waveney District Council who all congratulated the students on the enthusiasm and dedication they showed throughout the programme.

Work experience placement opportunities have been introduced to help students from East Coast College prepare for the world of work. Pleasurewood Hills joins a growing number of local employers who are working with East Coast College to boost the skills of young people and help will make them employable in the future. Pleasurewood Hills and East Coast College are hoping to continue to develop the link in the future and are looking at other possible areas that work experience placements may be offered.