New Hartlepool Sixth Form College training zones giving students skills for careers in nursing and computing

Hartlepool Sixth Form College is giving students wishing to become nurses or work in social care a huge advantage with the creation of new training facilities.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Caring for their patient are (left to right) Holly Robinson, Nicole Warnock, Harriet O'Beirne and Olivia Woolston during the launch of the Hartlepool Sixth Form College Health Hub. Picture by FRANK REID

A replica hospital ward area and elderly person’s flat make up a new Health Hub at the college designed so students can develop the skills they need for the workplace earlier after a major investment by college bosses.

It was officially opened by Hartlepool MP Mike Hill on Thursday, September 19, who hailed the facility as “fantastic”.

A Next Gen curriculum area for creative students aiming to work in the growing computer gaming and animation industry was also officially opened.

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Ellen Thinnesen, principal and chief executive of Education Partnership North East, of which Hartlepool Sixth Form is part, said the new facilities showed how far the college has come in the last three years when its future was uncertain due to financial worries.

She said: “This college is now stable financially and is exceeding its performance in terms of outcomes for students.

“What you are here to see today is the opening of two new skills bases and I can’t say how excited we are about these.

“We are shaping our curriculum in light of the needs across the communities we serve.”

Students (left to rightO Caitlin Hanner, Rhiannon Forrester and Katlyn Mcintyre "paitent socialising" during the launch of the Hartlepool Sixth Form College Health Hub. Picture by FRANK REID

The health hub allows students to practice tasks such as dressing a dummy patient in bed, moving a patient from bed to a chair, use blood pressure, heart rate and pulse machines, and carry out social care to support people who are living longer in their own homes.

Suzanne Coyle-Watson, from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We know it works and your students are really lucky.”

Hartlepool Sixth Form College principal Mark Hughes said: “What this allows us to do is deliver programmes not only to have qualifications, but develop those technical skills to be successful in jobs that we know are predicted to grow.”

Mr Hill said: “These facilities are fantastic. We need more nurses and health care workers and this place will provide them.”

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill shares a light hearted moment with Holly Robinson, during the launch of the Hartlepool Sixth Form College Health Hub. Picture by FRANK REID

From next September, the college will be the first in the town to provide new government T Level qualifications which include a mixture of classroom learning and on-the-job experience.

Computer game, animation and VTC course student Jake Williams in the college's Next Gen curriculum area which was officially opened on September 19, 2019. Picture by FRANK REID