Liam Hanson is proof of how apprenticeships can make all the difference.
The 21-year-old is one of the leading lights to come through Hartlepool College of Further Education. He left Wellfield Comprehensive School in 2010 with a handful of GCSEs but having seen his dad and both grandads work in the construction sector, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
He studied a BTEC Level 3 in Construction & Built Environment at the college.
In the last year of his course, he found out about a Hartlepool Borough Council apprenticeship scheme in civil engineering, went for an interview and was offered the job half an hour later. He said he remembered “telling them how much I wanted the job, and how important it was to me.”
First, he worked with the street lighting team, then customer services and is now earning more than £1,000 a month.
Liam will complete his apprenticeship in December, but has opted to take on a two-year extension to take him to a higher level.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The council places a very high importance on its apprenticeship programme and at any one time we can have up to 60 apprentices working in a range of disciplines across the council.
“Liam is a shining example of the progression that young people can make and he is our first apprentice to progress to a Level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND).
“The contribution that our apprentices make should not be under-estimated and many have gone on over the years to gain employment with the council and other employers.”