Cameron with fellow PACA students speaking at the academy’s parents’ evening.

Cameron has embraced the Aldridge Attributes – the skills programme developed by the Foundation and used at all Aldridge Academies to prepare young people for the productive lives they deserve to have – to help him prepare for his chosen career.

Year 11 Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) student Cameron McKechnie has high-flying hopes of becoming cabin crew to fulfil his love of travelling. He says: “Normally you only hear about fear of flying, but I love it!”

In his fourth year at PACA Cameron volunteered to take part in interviews for a Radio 4 programme reviewing the academy movement and its impact, which was part-recorded at the Academy. Cameron said that this made him assess the Academy and what it could do for him.

“The Aldridge Attributes definitely help because they give you an insight into life after school. The attributes, and the school, will help me to get the grades that I need to get there, because it is grades that will get you further and to places.”

Already knowing people in the industry, Cameron is aware that it can be a tough career to break into, and doesn’t always last for life. So he is determined to complete GCSEs and A-Levels before applying for cabin crew qualifications.

“I’ve had my heart set on this career for a long time, but you need something to fall back onto.”

Cameron has been a St. John’s Cadet for 5 years, which has fostered his love of meeting and speaking with different people. “At school you interact with the same people but when I’m out on cadet duties you interact with such a wide variety of people. The Attributes help you prepare for that.”

Cameron has also seen the benefit of developing his enterprising skills when he took part in the Aldridge Foundation’s Elevate Summer School programme at University West of England. “You had to use all of your attributes. Having to put them into practice was really interesting. For example, teamwork; my team had lots of strong characters with strong differences of opinion so we really had to work together as a team to get through it. On the programme you are interacting and working with people you don’t know – although now they are my friends! We met so many people and had such fun as well as getting the project done. I didn’t want to leave.”