Life in the fast lane for apprentice

PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 January 2012

Noel Flynn with assessor Paul Varcoe.

Noel Flynn with assessor Paul Varcoe.

Weston College

THE thrills of being at Grand Prix track-sides are second nature to a Worle man, who wanted to extend his knowledge by going back to college.

Noel Flynn, of Silverberry Way, works as a front-of-house operations manager for Weston-based Freeman’s Hospitality, which provides catering and services for the Formula One team.

The 43-year-old said: “It’s a very busy job that often sees you working from 5am to 11pm but it’s very varied and you’re often called on to help out with things like pushing the cars off the grid.

“You get used to seeing celebrities around. Richard Branson came out five times last season and he’s a very nice guy but to be honest you switch off to all that and just get on with your job.”

But when Noel is not looking after exhausted drivers and feeding celebrity guests, he has been studying for an apprenticeship in hospitality supervision and leadership at Weston College.

Noel joined Freeman’s after some years out of the hospitality business and felt he needed to fill in the gaps of his knowledge.

He said: “After working in catering for a long time I came out and didn’t return for eight years. When I did, I realised there might be gaps in my knowledge after that length of time so I wanted to bring my skills up to date.”

Paul Varcoe, of Weston College, said: “It’s a great example of earn and learn and it proves that apprenticeships aren’t just for younger people.

“Noel has a lot of experience in his field but there is always something new to learn and this has been very beneficial for his career development.”

Noel is now back in Weston after a long F1 season which took in 19 events and thousands of miles of travelling.

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