DELIGHTED college chiefs have hailed the success of an open night which attracted more than 1,500 potential students and their parents.
Hartlepool College of Further Education’s apprentice event was such a hit, it pulled in visitors from all parts of the Tees Valley.
Dozens of companies took stands to show the potential jobs on offer at companies throughout the North-East.
By the end of it all, college principal Darren Hankey was full of praise for “a great team effort with support staff, teachers, work-based assessors and managers all pulling together to ensure the event was successful”.
Last year’s event attracted 1,000 people. There was a 50 per cent rise in numbers this time with people browsing round the opportunities in trades such as engineering, construction, hairdressing, steel, and fabrication.
College officials said vsiitors came from “as far as Bishop Auckland and beyond Middlesbrough”.
A spokesman said: “We had a mixture of school leavers, their parents and some adults.
“There was a nice mixture of trades as well. We had engineering and construction and we had quite technical companies but we had others as well.
“This is the third open event we have held at the new college and we have built on the successes of the last couple of years.”
Mr Hankey said 29 companies attended the open evening. They included town firms Hart Biologicals, Huntsman, TMD Friction Poppys, Heerema, Merlin, and Gus Robinson Developments.
Also there were Hartlepool Borough Council, EDF Energy, the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Tata Steel, Northgate, and Wilton Engineering Services.
From further afield, there was NSK, Walkers, Cummins and Redhall.
The successful open event followed hot on the heels on another successful development from the college.
It has teamed up with Caterpillar in Peterlee to deliver educational courses that are not currently available in the area.
The Caterpillar Learning Centre of Light (LCOL) will offer night classes that are delivered by college tutors. Caterpillar will also be offering a chance to try out a simulated working environment as well as plant tours, as first reported in the Mail yesterday.