Apprentice take-up could be ‘limitless’

TRAINING: Brian Goodlad and Helen Drewitt at the HTES unit, Ainsley Street, Hartlepool
TRAINING: Brian Goodlad and Helen Drewitt at the HTES unit, Ainsley Street, Hartlepool

TRAINING firm bosses say they can take on a “limitless” number of apprentices to help cover a shortfall in the skilled worker market.

The Hartlepool Mail revealed earlier this week how Hartlepool Training and Employment Services, based in Ainsley Street, had already been training around 80 teenagers and was looking to take on more.

Teenagers aged from 16 to 18 are taken on by the organisation and get a guarantee of a job interview at the end of their course.

The scheme has proved to be a huge success so far and bosses say it could just be the start.

Helen Drewitt is the funded training manager at Hartlepool Training and Employment Services. She said there was “no cap” on the numbers of potential apprentices who could be taken on. She added: “We are not putting a limit on it.

“It is passing on knowledge on to the younger generation.”

Managing director Brian Goodlad said the project was working well and the demand for the emerging young talent was huge with firms wanting to take on more apprentices.

He added: “We are not a big college and to put around 75 people through is alright. We have still got a lot of employers approaching us and wanting to take on apprentices. This has gone really well in less than a year.”

Certain trades were faring better than others in the numbers of trainees who were being recruited.

Helen said the construction and engineering trades were moving forward with the numbers of apprentices they were taking on.

She said firms had lost a lot of skills in the economic downturn and were now wanting to train a new generation of skilled workers.

Trainees were coming from all parts of the North-East to take part in courses.

One of the trainees is Dane Harris, 19, from Guisborough who has been on a course in Hartlepool since last Autumn and was working with AW Cowan Groundworks.

He said he was already getting to do concreting, drainage and other aspects of work with the firm and was learning theory and maths, as well as skills such as building an inspection chamber for a manhole cover while he was on the course at Hartlepool.

He added: “I love what I am doing and I want to progress further and perhaps be a supervisor on my own site one day.”