Employers given food for thought

Delegates at Hartlepool College of Further Education business breakfast
Delegates at Hartlepool College of Further Education business breakfast

BUSINESSES were given plenty of food for thought at an educational breakfast presentation.

Nearly fifty employers from around the region met at Hartlepool College of Further Education yesterday for the event as part of Apprenticeship Week.

The town centre college currently has nearly 500 apprentices that they are currently training in various sectors employed by approximately 300 regional employers.

Steve Wallis, the college’s assistant principal, said: “We could not achieve the high levels of success without our key partnerships.

“No matter how successfully the college delivers the courses, it only works with your support.

“The college is very proud to welcome you all and our ongoing partnerships are essential to the sustainability of apprenticeship programmes.”

One of the keynote speakers was Andrew Pegg, company secretary at Yuill Homes who praised the apprenticeship system in place at the college.

He said: “Yuill Homes is proud to have a long tradition in employing apprentices and have done so since the 1940s.

“Although the frameworks have changed over the years the concept, like a round wheel, has not, in that we need to train people in the work place to gain the correct skills required to move the business forward.

“At Yuill Homes we always ensure that 10 per cent of our workforce is apprentices.

“This ethos has carried through the business and a large part of our senior management team are ex-apprentices, trained through Hartlepool College.”

The breakfast event carried on with a question and answer session held with Adrian Crowe, an apprentice with EDF.

Adrian has a long association with Hartlepool College and during his time there has won the Skills Champion of the Year, Engineering Student of the Year, Hartlepool College Student of the Year, Institute of Engineering Technicians Student of the Year and is shortlisted for the National Skills Academy (Nuclear) Student of the Year.

He took questions from guests that included “Why do you think EDF are so committed to apprentices?”

Adrian had no hesitation in replying that: “EDF really do see the benefit of taking apprentices and develop them through a training programme. I have a clearly defined career progression plan and they will help me all the way in association with the college.”

“I have been training with Hartlepool College for a number of years and it is their commitment and professional training programme that has made me and EDF keep coming back.”

Andy Steel, assistant principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education, told the gathering how the new-build would provide the perfect platform to take apprenticeship provision to an even higher level.

He said: “Hartlepool College has been the largest provider of apprentices in the Tees Valley for a number of years.

“It has been developed with a holistic approach to organisational needs as well as providing on-going training and education throughout the apprenticeship duration.

“The £53m new building gives us the perfect platform to continue to work with our existing partners and to develop new relationships as we move into curriculum areas of off shore wind, micro regeneration and specialist aerospace technologies.”

Anyone interested in starting an apprenticeship programme or any employer who wishes to be part of the successful programme should contact Jo Rutter on (01429) 292888 or email business@hartlepoolfe.ac.uk.