College is a class apart for apprentice success

SUCCESS: Darren Hankey celebrates. Inset; Connor Lambton, Jonathan Hunter and Emma McCoy
SUCCESS: Darren Hankey celebrates. Inset; Connor Lambton, Jonathan Hunter and Emma McCoy
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JUBILANT college chiefs are celebrating after clinching an apprenticeship success rate which far outweighs the national average.

Hartlepool College of Further Education had 459 apprentices who were due to complete their apprenticeship programmes last year.

Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Darren Hankey is delighted at college's massive success rate inapprenticeships.'Apprentice Connor Lambton

Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Darren Hankey is delighted at college's massive success rate inapprenticeships.'Apprentice Connor Lambton

College principal and chief executive Darren Hankey said: “I’m pleased to say that 86.4 per cent did so. The national success rate is 70.3 per cent.”

But there’s more good news. In 2013/14, the college had 259 apprentices aged between 16-18 due to complete their apprenticeship programme and 88 per cent achieved that compared to a national success rate of 72 per cent.

And the college now has 500 16-18 year old apprentices as it helps to bridge the gap in skills such as engineering. Mr Hankey said: “We like to think that we are leading the way. It is a success story. It is testament to the hard work of the staff and students at the college.

“What we try to do is to find out what the employer wants and provide them with a programme that meets their needs.”

Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Darren Hankey is delighted at college's massive success rate in apprenticeships.'Apprentice Jonathan Hunter

Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Darren Hankey is delighted at college's massive success rate in apprenticeships.'Apprentice Jonathan Hunter

Some of the current apprentices spoke to Business Update. Connor Lambton, 16, from Hartlepool, has been studying on an engineering course since September. He has a placement with a Newton Aycliffe firm and wants to become a maintenance engineer.

He said: “The lecturers are really good and let you know everything you need. You get all the help you require.”

Jonathan Hunter, 17, from Hartlepool, has been at the college for two years and is studying multi-skills engineering. He said he “loved it” and was particularly impressed by the support of the lecturers.

And Emma McCoy, 18, from Peterlee, has studied multi-skills engineering since last September. She said: “I am learning about all sorts of things in the engineering industry and meeting lots of people.”

Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Darren Hankey is delighted at college's massive success rate in apprenticeships.'Apprentice Emma McCoy

Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Darren Hankey is delighted at college's massive success rate in apprenticeships.'Apprentice Emma McCoy