Priestley students on course for public service careers

TOM Cruise might inspire a new generation of fighter pilots in Top Gun Maverick, but for some public service students at Warrington’s Priestley College, the passion took off a long time ago.

Public service students at Priestley College – many of whom have focused on joining the armed forces for years – experienced sitting in the cockpit of a Harrier Jump Jet on a recent trip to RAF Wittering.

Their need for speed might not have been satisfied – the jet remained grounded throughout – but their curiosity about life in the RAF certainly was.

“It was amazing to see what RAF pilots have to deal with to fly the jet,” said Tyler Burden, a former student of Sir Thomas Boteler.

“It certainly takes a lot of skill and confidence and was the highlight of the trip for me, although I really enjoyed it all.”

Priestley College’s Public Service course prepares students for careers ranging from the police to the army and navy.

During the trip to RAF Wittering, they got a taste of what a career in the Air Force could entail after interviewing various personnel and meeting police officers, engineers, aircraft technicians and physical training instructors working for the Air Force.

Tyler was already considering joining the police before he met a former Priestley student who is now an RAF police officer.

“I’m looking more than ever to play a role within the RAF with all the benefits and incredible opportunities that come with it,” he said.

Tyler Burden in the cockpit of a Harrier Jump Jet at RAF Wittering.