A COLLEGE has extended its engineering department to provide new training opportunities in partner ship with a string of key businesses.
Hartlepool College of Further Education (HCFE) is expanding its provision through an extended mechanical engineering department and a collaborative joint venture with Fine Organics into the process sector.
Working with firms C&A Pumps and GDF SUEZ, the college has commissioned a dedicated valve testing area which will accompany pump station, rotating equipment, fluid power and mechanical fitting training areas.
Recently purchased laser shaft and pulley alignment equipment, together with bearing induction heating facilities, will boost the existing comprehensive maintenance tools section.
Donations of surplus engineering components by companies sponsoring apprentices, including Sulzer Pumps, TATA Steel, ERIKS, Cummins, IMH, Expanded Metal, BAE Systems, Perry Process and NSK, will facilitate company specific training.
The college has also doubled capacity in the machine tool skills academy and expanded the fabrication and welding areas within the dedicated offshore and high value annex.
Assistant principal at the college, Steve Wallis, said: “We really have to thank our employer partners for their support in so many areas.
“The support for engineering in the region is really strong and this is evident in a number of ways including the provision of apprenticeships, work experience and in this case the donation of first-class equipment and materials.”
The college’s expansion into the process sector will see bosses working with Fine Organics, based at Seal Sands, in a venture that will provide advanced apprenticeship opportunities for eight people.
The practical aspects of the apprenticeship will be delivered on site by Fine Organics qualified trainer/assessors with a three-year day-release course staged by the college, including an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Processing Industries Operations and a Level 3 Diploma in Process Technology.
The college is opening the City and Guilds Process Technology course to other students that will start in early October.