Huge rise in apprentices in Hartlepool

The Peterlee Caterpillar factory.
The Peterlee Caterpillar factory.

A COLLEGE is breaking records after seeing a rise in the number of apprentices it has enrolled.

Hartlepool College of Further Education has enrolled its 850th apprentice for the academic year which started last month.

The college is expecting to cross the 900 mark in the next few months as a number of full time learners are currently converting to employment.

It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council launched a new campaign which aims to tackle the high rate of youth unemployment in the town and improve job prospects for young people.

The mail also launched the Work in Progress campaign to highlight the plight of the town’s jobless.

The Hartlepool Youth Investment Project (HYIP) aims to get 150 16 to 24-year-olds into employment, and 500 16-18-year-olds to have access to an internship with a local company.

The college works in partnership with over 500 employers across the North-East who are convinced that engaging apprentices is the way forward to develop their business.

Fred Felton, apprenticeship manager at Caterpillar Peterlee, said: “We have worked with the college for a number of years now and the quality of their fabrication and welding apprenticeships, along with other engineering disciplines, has delivered for us and we keep going back for more.

“Our partnership works very well and we look forward to continued investment in apprenticeships with the college well into the future.”

Town firm Gus Robinson Developments has taken on apprentices for a number of years.

Dan Robinson, chairman of Gus Robinson Developments said: “The company is determined to support local students to develop leading edge skills that will allow them to flourish in a global economy.

“We are passionate about people being able to express themselves and compete at every level. This is why we have supported the college for over 40 years by engaging very capable apprentices across a variety of fields including plumbing and electrical engineering.”

Steve Wallis, assistant principal at the college, said: “We really have to thank our employer partners for their continued support in so many areas including engineering, manufacturing, health and the service sectors.

“We have a long history of supporting apprentices in Hartlepool and in the last five years we have widened this to the entire North-East region making the college one of the largest regional providers of apprenticeships.

“We have further plans for expansion particularly in the science, engineering and construction disciplines where we have introduced high quality provision in laboratory technicians and heritage craft skills in the last few months.”