Hackney students and apprentices dine with a Prince during Apprenticeship Week

Prince Andrew with Hackney UTC pupil Josiah Francis

Prince Andrew with Hackney UTC pupil Josiah Francis - Credit: Archant

Hackney Community College apprentices and Hackney University Technical College students dined with a Prince last week, as the Duke of York paid a visit during Apprenticeship Week.

Prince Andrew with plumbing apprentice Syma Khatun who won the Reds10 apprentice of the year award

Prince Andrew with plumbing apprentice Syma Khatun who won the Reds10 apprentice of the year award - Credit: Archant

Prince Andrew has shown a keen interest in Hackney Community College’s Tech City Apprenticeship scheme which launched this month, and is also the Patron of Hackney University Technical College.

The new school for 13-18 year olds is situated on the college’s Shoreditch campus in Kingsland Road and was established to meet the skills needs of employers.

At lunch in HCC’s training restaurant Open Kitchen in Hoxton Street Prince Andrew chatted informally to employers and their apprentices, who work in fields from plumbing to media to office administration.

Apprentice Jack Gannon, who is in the third year of his apprenticeship with Cox and Co maintenance engineers said he had asked lots of questions and appeared genuinely interested.

“It’s not every day you have lunch with a prince,” he said.

“I was a bit nervous beforehand but he is really nice, and talked to all of us about what we’re doing and about the apprenticeship programme.”