A CIVIL engineering hopeful used his own drive and determination to secure invaluable paid-for work experience with a well-respected local firm.

Sam Ellithorn had been on a 45-day placement with Cheetham Hill Construction when the pandemic struck, cutting short his stint.

He had been based on site at Broadway Green in Oldham on Mondays and Fridays each week, gaining insights into his chosen occupation.

But when the coronavirus crisis struck he wasn't daunted, applying for a civil engineering course at Salford University, for which he has been made an unconditional offer.

And bosses at Cheetham Hill were so impressed that they have now offered Sam a three-month paid-for assignment.

Claire Chamberlain, a director at Cheetham Hill. said: "We are an experienced Bury firm who have been in operation for over 54 years.

"We were so pleased to be able to work with a local college and provide a student with the opportunity to gain skills needed to advance their career.

"Sam has shown so much determination and enthusiasm and it is wonderful to see him following his dream and we have been more than happy to support him. We are passionate about our industry and we will give anyone who shows willing an opportunity to work with us.”

Sam, a former Woodhey High pupil from Ramsbottom, added, “I''m really enjoying my work experience with Cheetham Hill Construction. This opportunity has helped me to choose my career path at university.

"During my time on site I gained a basic understanding of day-to-day operations in order to progress with a large-scale infrastructure project. I was able to assist engineers and learn about their different roles. My time at college was very enjoyable and it helped me to gain knowledge about engineering in general.”