PRINCE Andrew hailed the ability of the new £53m Hartlepool College of Further Education to equip students with skills for the workplace.
The Duke of York has now left town after officially opening the flagship state-of-the art building, in Stockton Street.
Hundreds of students, who are enjoying their half-term holiday, descended on the college to take part in the Royal Visit.
The young people flanked the balconies on three floors of the impressive building as the Duke made his way around, meeting students, staff, governors and business people who employ apprentices at the college.
The Prince arrived in town by helicopter and landed in the Hartlepool Marina area, before being whisked to the college.
During his visit, he spent time talking to students about their career ambitions and aspirations and toured the college’s aircraft hangar - where the former Royal Navy pilot stepped on board a vintage Jet Provost aircraft.
Before unveiling a commemorative plaque, the Duke said: “I have been really impressed not only with the conversations I have had with some of the young students here, but also their commitment to their education and gaining qualifications for employment.”
• SEE Friday’s Mail for a full report and pictures. Do you have any pictures from the visit? If so, email newsdesk