New training centre reveals plans for ‘massive expansion’ in Peterlee

Directors Rob Morton (left) and Steve Willis (right) look on as Hartlepool Borough Councillor Kevin Cranney cuts the ribbon to open the Pro-active training unit. FRANK REID
Directors Rob Morton (left) and Steve Willis (right) look on as Hartlepool Borough Councillor Kevin Cranney cuts the ribbon to open the Pro-active training unit. FRANK REID

A new training centre has officially opened – and bosses immediately revealed plans for a massive expansion.

Pro-active Training unveiled its new facility on the Park View Industrial Estate in Hartlepool. It is already training about 60 students in bricklaying and other courses on scaffolding and general operative work will start soon.

Apprentice Aaron Copeland at the Pro-active training unit. FRANK REID

Apprentice Aaron Copeland at the Pro-active training unit. FRANK REID

Pro-active Training expects to train 200 apprentices over the next year with the prospect of real jobs at the end. In the meantime, students get on-site experience as well as training.

But on the very day that dignitaries gathered, Pro-active director Rob Morton already revealed plans for expansion.

He said Pro-active was entering into a partnership with Peterlee-based training provider Profound Group for facilities in East Durham.

It would offer the same courses and mean 180 more posts.

We want to make a difference in the construction industry. We have seen an ever-increasing skills gap and a workforce getting older. If we do not do something, we shall have very serious problems in our industry

Rob Morton

He added: “We want to make a difference in the construction industry. We have seen an ever-increasing skills gap and a workforce getting older. If we do not do something, we shall have very serious problems in our industry.”

He said the course offered “not just a training scheme. These are full-time jobs.”

Profound managing director Steven Ward said: “We have long had ambition to move into the construction industry and had a series of meetings with Pro-active for months about how we can come together as a partnership to bring their expertise and our expertise in training.”

Pro-active Training works with Brickwork Services Ltd, which supplies bricklayers to construction companies.

Tutor Alex Thompson with apprentice's Robyn Ingram (left) and Georgia Readman in the Pro-active training unit. FRANK REID

Tutor Alex Thompson with apprentice's Robyn Ingram (left) and Georgia Readman in the Pro-active training unit. FRANK REID

Coun Kevin Cranney, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Policy Committee, officially opened the Hartlepool centre and said: “These are the sort of facilities that are needed.”

Among the first students to train was Georgia Readman, 19, who wants to become a bricklayer, and said: “This is good. It is nice to get this opportunity and to go on to building sites.”

Tutor Alex Thompson praised the set-up and 
said: “The students are already flying. They are all doing NVQs and working on site with bricklayers.”