Sea Life Centre sees a third of animals die in a year

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:37
Owner Merlin Entertainments said a "technically complex" water problem was behind some of the deaths.
Categories: Dorset

Purbeck District Council phones not working

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:30

Currently (10.30am, Thursday 8 March 2018), Purbeck District Council’s telephones are out of action. Engineers are working to get them fixed as quickly as possible.

If you need to contact the Council, please send an email or try again later (see the contact details). Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused. Thank you.

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Categories: Dorset

Lewis Cook: Bournemouth midfielder can play for England soon, says boss Eddie Howe

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 18:18
Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook has a "great chance" of playing for England "very soon" says manager Eddie Howe.
Categories: Dorset

Piddle Valley Residents to vote on Neighbourhood Plan

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 15:04

The Piddle Valley could have a Neighbourhood Plan if residents give it the go ahead.

Piddle Valley residents to vote neighbourhood plan

Councillors agreed at West Dorset District Council’s Strategy Committee on 8 February 2018 to go ahead with the referendum on Piddle Valley Neighbourhood Plan.

A local referendum will take place on Thursday 19 April 2018, with local residents going to the polls to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposals.

The plan was drawn up by local people, and agreed by the parish council.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example the plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.

If the plan is supported by the local referendum it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

Cllr Ian Gardner, Planning Portfolio Holder for West Dorset District Council, said:

“Residents of the Piddle Valley now have the opportunity to shape their community through the Neighbourhood Plan, as modified by the independent examiner.

“They may wish to ensure they are on the electoral roll if they intend to vote in the April referendum.”


How to vote

The referendum will be held on Thursday 19 April 2018. You have to be registered to vote by 3 April 2018 to vote in the referendum. You can check if you are registered to vote by telephoning 01305 838299.

Details of where residents can vote will be on issued Poll Cards. Residents with the code ‘EO’ can vote at Piddlehinton Village Hall and residents with code ‘EP1’ and ‘EP3’ can vote at Piddletrenthide Memorial Hall. Polling Stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 19 April 2018.

To vote by post or proxy in this referendum, you will need to have filled in an application form and sent it to the Electoral Registration Officer. Postal and proxy vote application forms are available online at or by contacting the district council.

Applications to vote by post must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 4 April 2018. To vote by proxy, application forms should be received by 5pm on Wednesday 11 April 2018.

View the plan

The plan can be viewed online or at South Walks House in Dorchester or Sherborne Town Council offices, Sherborne. The Parish Council also intend to ensure copies of the document are available locally.

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Categories: Dorset

American Civil War Re-enactment to showcase at Highcliffe Castle

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:45

Highcliffe Castle is excited to welcome the American Civil War Re-enacting Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkAn) for a major 2 day event on 24 and 25 March 2018.

The weekend event at Highcliffe Castle will showcase life during the American Civil War with interactive displays, skirmishes and drills. Battle re-enactments will take place periodically throughout both days, offering the opportunity for visitors to learn more about the history of the American Civil War through experiencing a taster of life as it would have been in the military camps during this time.

SoSkAn is the oldest American Civil War re-enacting society outside of the United States. They aim to honour the fallen of the American Civil War by creating “living history” re-enactments, recreating realistic battle scenes and skirmishes, including artillery, cavalry and infantry forces.

Stephen Noble, Events Team Leader at Highcliffe Castle said, “We are looking forward to welcoming the Southern Skirmish Association to Highcliffe Castle for this living history event. This will be an exciting family weekend making full use of the newly opened grounds.”

The event is free to the public with displays taking place from 11am through to 4pm on both days.

For more information please contact function and event coordinator Jack Hartwell on 01425 278807 or via email on

Find out more about the Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkAn) on their website here:

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Categories: Dorset

#NAW2018 : Taking the next step – Jake’s Story

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:07

We asked previous Christchurch and East Dorset Digital Marketing apprentice Jake Mugatroyd – who is now a full time employee – on his top tips for success.

Moving from being an apprentice to a permanent role…

If there is the opportunity to be taken on as a full-time employee, start trying to get involved in the as much as possible.

This will demonstrate, to your employer that you are committed to the organisation and they will identify what an asset you are.

Top tips for people looking for an apprenticeship…

If you know what apprenticeship you want to do just apply for as many jobs as you can find, and then look beyond the apprenticeship, if you want to go down a certain career path think about what type of environment/company you want to work for in the long term. Then make a decision on which fits best after applying for the various apprenticeships.

Advice for people who are currently apprentices…

Often a job will not be guaranteed on completion of your apprenticeship, so start looking for jobs before the end of it, so that you don’t finish the apprenticeship and have no income. There may be opportunities within the current organisation that you can apply for just from gaining the work experience from the apprenticeship. They will already have invested in a relationship with you and know your strengths, which can will help at interview.

How to demonstrate you are committed to what you are doing…

Don’t get too comfortable and keep asking for work, show that you’re keen to learn new things. If you see opportunities to develop, like events or skills workshops ask your employer if you can go to them. You will gain vital knowledge that you can bring back and help support your team better.

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Categories: Dorset

Fire tears through disused Blandford warehouse

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 10:06
Up to 100 firefighters tackled the fire on a brewery site Blandford and remain at the site.
Categories: Dorset

Woman killed in A30 Sherborne crash

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 07:27
Police say the crash involving a blue Honda Civic happened at Babylon Hill.
Categories: Dorset

Five patients made 8,303 emergency calls in a year

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 01:32
One caller rang an ambulance service 3,594 times in 12 months.
Categories: Dorset

Warehouse fire in Blandford

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 17:45
Local pilot captures footage of huge fire from the air.
Categories: Dorset

Your Council Tax bill explained – Adult Social Care additions

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 17:27

If you’ve received your council tax bill, you may notice some increases, including the Adult Social Care precept. This is the third year this has been added to bills. We explain more about what this is and what it means for your bill.

This year, the government has allowed councils, who are responsible for providing Adult Social Care, to increase their council tax by up to 6%. Dorset County Council has chosen to increase their precept by 2.99% (rounded to 3%) for general expenditure and by 3% which is specifically for Adult Social Care services.

These percentage increases are shown on the 2018-2019 council tax bills.

The government introduced legislation and guidance setting out how the Adult Social Care precept is calculated and shown on council tax bills. This has been followed when producing the council tax bills for 2018-2019.

Percentage increases shown on your bill

The figures relating to general expenditure and the Adult Social Care precept are each accompanied by a percentage increase figure. The percentages show how each element contributes to the overall increase set by Dorset County Council.

The percentage increase for the Dorset County Council element is calculated on the combined total of the Dorset County Council and Adult Social Care charges from last year’s bill and is an increase of 2.989% (3% rounded).

The percentage increase for the Adult Social Care element is calculated on the combined total of the Dorset County Council and Adult Social Care charges from last year’s bill and is an increase of 3%.

While we understand this looks different to how other percentage increases are displayed, the bills have been calculated correctly, in accordance with regulations and guidance, and should be paid as requested.

Council Tax example – band D property

The following example shows how the Adult Social Care precept has been calculated for 2018-2019 based on a Band D property.

2017-2018 Bill

  2018-2019 Bill

  Dorset County Council £1,264.65 £1,304.31 3.0% (rounded) Adult Social Care Precept £     62.22

  £   102.03 3.0% Dorset County Council – Total £1,326.87

  £1,406.34 5.99%

The Adult Social Care increase shown above for 2018-19 is calculated based on the total Dorset County Council charges for 2017-2018 (in this example, £1326.87 and highlighted in yellow).

The Adult Social Care precept increase is calculated as follows:

  • £1,326.87 x 3% = £39.81

This amount is then added to the 2017-2018 Adult Social Care precept of £62.22 as this is an accumulated charge:

£62.22 (last year’s Adult Social Care charge) + £39.81 (this year’s increase) = £102.03 (2018-2019 Adult Social Care Precept).

If you need further information regarding Dorset County Council’s spending plans for 2018-2019, further detail is available here.  Further information relating to all of the current year council tax charges is available here.

If you experience any difficulty in paying your council tax, contact your local council.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset NHS hospital shake-up plans face judicial review

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 11:37
Under the plans, Poole Hospital would lose A&E, maternity and paediatric services to Bournemouth.
Categories: Dorset

All you need to know about dredging works in West Dorset

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:45
Annual dredging works are set to take place in West Bay and Lyme Regis. Works at West Bay will begin on Weds 14 March and last approximately 9 days with no night shift work required. Lyme Regis work will begin on Monday 12 March for approximately 2 weeks. There will be both day and night shifts. The night shiftsm will be pump only, so we don’t expect any disturbance for local residents. Why is dredging important? Dredging maintains the entrance to the harbours and bulks up parts of the beach for flood defences. Both Lyme Regis and West Bay boast world-famous harbours. These harbours are fundamental to the prosperity of the towns. We continue to maintain the harbours for boat owners to have a safe and secure place to store and use their boats. The towns’ delightful beaches are highlights of the UNESCO world heritage Jurassic coast. Enjoyed by both tourists and residents, we aim to keep these beaches in exceptional condition. Lyme Regis Lyme Regis Cllr Tony Alford, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the town council, as we know how much it means for our local economy to keep the beach in peak condition. This year, we will be running an educational campaign to highlight the importance of dredging.” We will shut only sections of the sandy beach through the duration of works at Lyme Regis. All car parks will remain open. The dredging works are a part of a large scheme to improve flood protection along the town’s coastline. This award-nominated scheme is now nearing completion, with the final phase 5 underway on the Cobb. West Bay West Bay West Beach will remain closed to the public during the works. We will shut the Esplanade car park, but The Mound car park will be open throughout the works. The works take place in the mouth and outer harbour. Sand and gravel is deposited on West Beach for flood defences. Our engineers – working in collaboration with the Environment Agency – have planned a flood protection scheme that will be implemented from 2019. Banksmen will be on site for both sets of work to ensure public safety.

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Categories: Dorset

#NAW2018 : How to get the most from your apprenticeship – Sophie’s Story

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:44

We asked Sophie McLaren, Digital Marketing & Social Media Apprentice for the Communications Team, on her thoughts and tips on how to get the most out of your apprenticeships!

Remember not to run before you can walk and also that it’s normal to make mistakes – you aren’t expected to know everything….

It can be easy, when starting a new job, to get excited and carried away and say yes to lots of requests. However, this is counterproductive and you may end up not completing something to the standard that was expected or burn yourself out in the process. Saying that, you are there to learn first and foremost – it is different from being a full time employee who may already have a degree, so the more you do the more you learn and develop. In short – need balance. The best thing you can do is plan! Plan your work in advance for the month, the week or each day to see what deadlines you have and how you can effectively manage your work hours whilst making sure you get all those learning goals in. I set aside time on Fridays to plan the forthcoming week and research any development opportunities that may complement my departmental work.

The key to success is asking questions…

I recently had to do a project at college, which was how to increase the intake of ICT Level 3 students. I am pretty competent at using a computer, but I wanted to get a better understanding of why people went into IT and what the future of the IT industry was. So, I did some market research and utilized the expert knowledge of our IT Team. It really helped my pitch and highlighted new approaches over the usual generic answers. This is a great way of how your employer can support your learning; it is not always about doing tasks and sitting at a desk, but asking questions and obtaining their industry knowledge and insights as well.

Take every opportunity to learn new things…

This is an absolute must! You hold the power to your future and I am always keen to take development opportunities when I see them. It not only benefits your learning outcomes but will allow you to bring expert knowledge to your team to help improve working practices by sharing the skills you’ve gained. For example, I recently paid for myself to attend a Google Analytics course through CIM, so that I could strengthen my analytics skills to better support my team colleagues via monitoring engagement and created goal. Thus, I am now more competent at it and I have the option to provide those services for the Council. You have to keep an eye out for development opportunities where you work, but they may not always be within your department. If it can benefit you and your team it’s worth asking your manager when they pop up. Your development is in your hands and asking for opportunities highlights you are aware of your own growth and want to contribute to positively to your team.

Sophie taking part in Carpool Chattyaoke with Chief Executive David McInotosh

Speak up!

Knowing your personal strengths and weaknesses will benefit you in the long run. Remember you are an apprentice and the expectations of your employer will differ somewhat to that of a typical employee with a degree, professional qualifications or more experience. Your work is monitored and if you make a mistake you employer will highlight it and allow to change / correct it. Remember if you are stuck to speak up and ask for clarification. No one expects you to get things right over night, but by the time your apprenticeship finishes you should be ready for the next step.

 Sophie took park in #OurDay2017

Have confidence and share ideas…

I love working in Digital Marketing! Since I started here in September 2017, I have made a number of suggestions for campaigns to run on Twitter to provide residents with a visual face to the council and boost engagement. I have produced videos for YouTube and Twitter, created the CED Christmas Advent Calendar, celebrated #CEDStaff with Our Day and I have also coordinated the content for National Apprenticeship Week and much more! I really enjoy being able to have the opportunity to coordinate these campaigns, with the guidance from my manager and team colleagues at every step of my journey as an apprentice.

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Categories: Dorset

Join our army of Digital Champions

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:15

A Dorset organisation is looking for volunteers to help people in Weymouth and Portland get to grips with computers and take their first steps online.

The Superfast Dorset project is looking to increase its army of Digital Champion volunteers, who run free sessions in the borough to pass on basic know-how.

This could range from switching on a computer and managing email, to helping people with their online Universal Credit application. Clients have a wide range of goals they want to achieve.

The latest research shows that around 150,000 Dorset adults need help with digital skills and 70,000 are offline.

Digital Champion David Smith runs free sessions at Wyke Regis, Littlemoor and Weymouth libraries.

He said: “It’s a voluntary role but the payback I get is when someone comes to me with a problem and leaves much happier, having resolved it.

“It’s not just email and internet access. People want to learn how to sort photos or how to use their new mobile phone . . . every client is different.”

Digital Champion volunteers can do as many or as few hours as they wish and can make a huge difference to people’s lives.

Greta Hammond of Weymouth, who attended a recent session, said: “I found it a very good system. The personal tuition made a great difference and gave me the confidence to use a new Windows 10 PC.”

When Terry Woods came to his first session he had virtually no IT skills. He said: “After working with a Dorset Digital Champion volunteer, I’m now confident enough to take an IT course with Skills & Learning.

“Today I have learned how to select multiple emails and delete them properly. I never thought I would be able to log straight into my email without some help, but I can!”

If you are passionate about the benefits of being online, have good IT and mentoring skills, bags of patience and want to give something back to your community, please get in touch via the Superfast Dorset website or email

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset’s response to Storm Emma – thanks to local volunteers, communities, farmers, parish and town councils and the media

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 21:06

On behalf of the councillors and staff of Dorset County Council we would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to local volunteers, communities, farmers and the media for all the understanding, support, flexibility, good humour and community spirit that you showed since the arrival of the severe weather on Thursday.

Residents, voluntary organisations, councillors and businesses pulled together so well, crucially supporting the work of many of our services across the county, and keeping an eye on the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Our gritting team of 100 worked around the clock for 60 hours – supported by an invaluable network of local farmers with snow ploughs – to keep the priority network as clear as possible in the snow and freezing rain. Our teams in highways, social care, safeguarding, emergency planning, libraries, customer services, communications, ICT, registrars and rangers (to name but a few) worked tirelessly to keep Dorset safe, moving and informed. Despite the conditions, with the help of local people there were marriages celebrated, roads gritted and ploughed, people rescued, livestock taken care of, enquiries dealt with, and care and welfare visits made. Our hospitals were also really well supported.

The Roman Road near Compton Valence, sent in by Tom Billy via Facebook

We would like to extend particular thanks to everyone who shared our tweets from @DorsetCC and @TravelDorset and Dorset County Council Facebook posts. We have had many comments to say that the social media messages, coupled with coverage by local media, meant that many non-essential journeys were avoided, reducing the impact on our road network.

Storm Emma really brought home what fantastic community spirit we have here in Dorset – our sincere thanks to everyone who played their part over the past few days.

Cllr Rebecca Knox, Leader, Dorset County Council
Cllr Hilary Cox, Chairman, Dorset County Council
Debbie Ward, Chief Executive, Dorset County Council

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Categories: Dorset

Christchurch to hold Extraordinary Full Council to discuss Secretary of State decision

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 15:41

Christchurch Borough Council is to hold an extraordinary Full Council meeting on 13 March to agree the way forward following the Secretary of State’s decision to approve local government reorganisation in Dorset.

Following the announcement by the Secretary of State, the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP, that he will progress his ‘minded to’ decision to support the Future Dorset submission, members will now meet to confirm how they wish to proceed.

At their Extraordinary Full Council meeting in January members resolved to seek the opinion of a legal professional as to whether the decision from the Secretary of State is challengeable in law. The opinion states that there is no arguable error in law and members will be asked to note this when they meet on 13 March.

Cllr Trish Jamieson, Deputy Leader of the Council, Christchurch Borough Council, said: “Whilst we were disappointed with the decision from the Secretary of State it is important that we now meet to consider the best way forward.

“The legal professional advises that the decision is not challengeable and we must decide whether there are any further avenues we can pursue. Our priority now must be continuing to work as part of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Joint Committee to ensure that, if it does go ahead, local government reorganisation secures the best possible outcomes for Christchurch residents.”

View a copy of the Full Council report, including the legal opinion, online.

Christchurch Borough Council’s Full Council meeting will be held at the Civic Offices, Bridge Street at 6pm on Tuesday 13 March and can also be viewed on YouTube.


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Categories: Dorset

Share your views on the Weymouth Peninsula redevelopment outline planning application

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:26

We shall be holding 2x Public Engagement events in March where local residents and businesses will be invited to share their views on the Weymouth Peninsula Redevelopment.

The Peninsula occupies a prominent location at the end of the Esplanade and contains the Pavilion Theatre, harbour facilities, the former ferry terminal and a surface car park. It is close to the beach and forms part of the setting of the Nothe Fort, which is a Scheduled Monument.

Our aim is to bring new facilities to the Peninsula which will expand Weymouth’s leisure offer and add to its year-round attraction. We are therefore proposing a mixture of new, indoor-leisure buildings, hotels and restaurants which will complement other attractions in the town. We intend to make an outline planning application and we want to hear your views before we complete our design.

Public Engagement Events in March

We shall be hosting 2x Public Engagement Events at our Commercial Road office

  • Wednesday 14 March 2018, 5pm until 8pm
  • Thursday 15 March 2018, 11am until 2pm

Representatives of the Council, the project architect and planning advisers will be on hand during the Public Engagement events to answer any questions.

For those unable to attend, there will be an online survey released on 14 March 2018, that will run until Friday 6 April 2018. The imagery and information will be hosted online alongside this survey.

Cllr Jeff Cant Leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and briefholder for Finance and Assets, said:

“We have put in place an ambitious regeneration programme to transform the Borough into a year-round destination. The first element of this is the Peninsula redevelopment. This major scheme will shortly be submitted for planning consent.

“The Peninsula is a prime location and we plan to introduce a mixture of indoor-leisure buildings, hotels, restaurants and enhanced facilities for the harbour; including the fishing community. This will transform the Peninsula into a must-see destination for tourists, drawing them to the area and it will become a recreation destination for the local community.

“We hope that local residents will take the opportunity to attend the engagement events in March and fill out the online survey. This is your space and we need to know what you think about our outline planning application”.

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Categories: Dorset

Bin collections to be affected this week across Dorset

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 12:21

Dorset residents are being made aware that their bin collections may be affected for up to a week while services return to normal.

Due to the recent severe weather, the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) suspended collections in East Dorset on Thursday 1 March, with the rest of the county’s collections disrupted on Friday 2 March.

With up to two days of missed bin collections to catch-up on, the DWP are kindly asking for residents’ patience while they work to clear the backlog.

Bins, boxes and bags should be left out for collection until they are emptied or picked up. Please note that different bins may be emptied at different times.

DWP crews will collect any extra bags of rubbish left out with bins that were missed last week. Extra recycling is always accepted provided it is separated and placed in a sturdy container.

Residents who weren’t affected by the disruption should continue to put their bins out on their usual collection day.

The DWP hopes to have cleared the majority of missed bins by Saturday 10 March, with extra collections to take place if necessary.

Updates will be made on the Dorset For You webpage and via Facebook and Twitter.

The Dorset Waste Partnership would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

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Categories: Dorset

#NAW2018 Getting Started as an Apprentice: Lillian’s Story

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 12:11

To celebrate National Apprenticeship week, we asked Lillian Broad, Business Administration Apprentice at Christchurch and East Dorset Councils her thoughts and tips on applying for an apprenticeship and how she prepared for her interview.

What made you choose this apprenticeship and how did you apply?

I chose to do an apprenticeship as I find it easier to learn through practical experience and thought an apprenticeship would help me do this whilst still earning a qualification. I applied through the website for apprenticeships, at first just generally looking what was available in my area and eventually found this position.

Did you prepare much?

Preparing is really key to your interview. It demonstrates you have initiative and you have some basic prior knowledge of where you want to work. It really goes a long way to help you stand out as a candidate plus it helps you feel less nervous on the actual day. You can simply ‘Google’ frequently asked interview questions and make sure you the organisations website. This will help you feel a lot more prepared and confidant on the interview day.

What was your reaction when you found out you had been successful?

I was excited and quite relieved as I had been looking for an apprenticeship in this area for quite a while. I had prepared thoroughly and I interviewed well, so I was confident about my chances. It really goes to prove my points on being prepared and confident in your answers!

How did you prepare for your first day?

I researched the various committee meetings and which Councillors sit on each. I also tried looking a little more into the college side of my apprenticeship: What classes I would be taking there and what was part of the curriculum.

Lillian taking minutes at a Committee Meeting How did you feel when you started your role?

I found the fact that this was a completely different environment from what I used to quite daunting. I had never worked in an office before! I was surprised at how nervous I was about going to back to college as well- it had been a couple of years and I have found the experience very different to when I was doing A-levels.

However I would advise others going into an apprenticeship not to be nervous about the fact that you are going into something unfamiliar because you are there to learn. You are an apprentice and the work environment is essentially an extension of your college.

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Categories: Dorset