Hartlepool college students on course for bright future
College bosses in Hartlepool are working hand in hand with a major employer and recruitment agency to put students on the road to success.
Hartlepool College of Further Education and on-site recruitment firm Randstad are aiming to deliver more high-quality welders to Caterpillar UK, in Peterlee, with another ten trainees joining an existing batch of 20 already on the programme.
Learners, recruited by Randstad, are on a 10-week course at the college where welding bays have been specifically tailored to meet Caterpillar’s standards.
After that, students will be on site at Caterpillar as a trainee for a year until they and – provided they reach the required standards – it is expected they will stay beyond that.
Andrew Thursfield, Randstad’s regional director, said: “The success of this course has resulted in over 70% of our previous trainees still working with Caterpillar and many have progressed into more senior roles.
“We are so excited to work with Caterpillar and Hartlepool College to start the welding programme up again after Covid put a temporary stop on it.”
He added: “There is a massive shortage of welders in the region and this programme will have a big impact on reducing the skills gap whilst giving jobs to local people.”
Gary Riches, the college’s assistant principal, said: “It has been brilliant to see how the college has helped close a current skills gap within such a large organisation.
"When the initial meeting with Andrew at Randstad took place, it was easy to picture what the outcome of the project was going to look like as we have both exceptional staff and exceptional facilities at the college.
“It will be pleasing to see the final ten recruits start work at Caterpillar’s Peterlee factory and even more pleasing in 12 months’ time when they are all still performing at the expected level that has been set.
"Both Randstad and Caterpillar staff have been involved every step of the way so the trainees feel part of the organisation and also allowing the college to tailor any training to meet the needs of Caterpillar.
For details of jobs at Caterpillar, go to www.randstad.co.uk/caterpillar-peterlee