Council bosses praise ‘jewel in the crown’ education on offer at Hartlepool colleges
Council chiefs have hailed colleges in Hartlepool as ‘some of the best in the country’ and one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of the town.
Hartlepool Borough Council chief executive Gill Alexander praised the colleges in the town following presentations made by three organisations to the town’s Economic Regeneration and Tourism Forum.
Staff at Hartlepool College of Further Education, Hartlepool Sixth Form College and The Northern School of Art all gave updates on the work they have been doing to provide opportunities for young people in the town.
Chief executive Gill Alexander admitted since she first started at the council around six years ago the picture for the colleges has substantially improved.
She said: “One of the problems the town faced, let’s be honest, was the performance of its colleges and some of the worries about the vulnerability of our colleges and the outcomes we were getting.
“Through the fantastic leadership of our college principals and vice principals and senior leaders we now have one of the best college systems not just in the Tees Valley but in the country.
“It’s one of the jewels in the crown of Hartlepool that we need to start praising and promoting.”
The council chief executive also added the importance of providing opportunities for young people in the town.
She said: “If they can get the qualifications, they need to be the workforce of the future in this 21st Century, which we’ve actually only just started, then they will be fundamental to how we regenerate the economy of this town and this region.
“If we can attract students in the town who then want to stay in the town and set up businesses in the town that’s important not just for our existing industries but also for the industries of the future.”
Representatives from The Northern School of Art noted 83% of 2017 graduates within six months had a professional or managerial level job, the majority of them in the Tees Valley.
Staff also praised the planned film and TV studio at the former bus depot in Hartlepool as an example of the development of the sector.
Bosses at Hartlepool Sixth Form College also praised education in the town and its curriculum, shaped to meet the needs of pupils.
Andrew Steele, assistant principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education, noted the work done at the college, especially in relation to apprenticeships in science, maths and engineering, and said the town needs to be proud of its colleges.
He said: “As part of the whole ‘Love Hartlepool’ theme we should be really passing that message out, not just within the town but to everyone else, that it’s a great place to study, as well as come and visit.”
Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service.