Finding out about apprenticeships

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YOUNG people have the chance to learn more about their futures at an event to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Hartlepool College of Further Eduction runs more than 180 apprentice courses and is giving youngsters the chance to learn more and also meet potential employers.

An apprenticeship open evening is being held next Wednesday, February 8, where a host of local and regional employers will be available to talk to anyone interested in becoming an apprentice.

The organisations include large employers of apprentices: Caterpillar, Darchem Engineering, Gus Robinson Developments, Finn Machine Company, Shapers, Gestamp Tallent Automotive, Hartlepool Borough Council, Darchem, Vela, TAG, Huntsman, Wilton Engineering, Northgate, Poppies, Heerema and EDF Energy.

It comes after the Hartlepool Mail reported how the town has the third highest percentage of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants in the 18-25 in the country.

The figures show that 17.3 per cent of people in the age group in town, which is 1,440 people, claimed the benefit last month.

College bosses say apprenticeship programmes are an integral part of the future skills base in the region and are therefore vital to the local economy.

Graham McPhail, director of apprenticeships at the college, said “We are very proud that we are currently training over 700 apprentices with very high success rates. However, we could not do this without the total time, effort and support of the many employer partnerships in addition to the dedication of the apprentices.

In some cases the apprenticeship programme can consist of up to seven or eight separate qualifications, hence it is important to recruit the right calibre of learners.

“Employment is key, you can’t do an apprenticeship unless you are employed as it is vital that the apprentice gains the appropriate work experience to improve their skills in a real working environment. This develops their skills and prepares them well for employment in their chosen field.”

Bosses say an apprenticeship is a rewarding way for a student to gain high quality technical and competency qualifications, while getting valuable work experience with a reputable employer.

For the employer, there are business benefits to employing apprentices and it has been proven that they can make an organisation more effective, productive and competitive.

The event is being held on Wednesday, February 8, from 5.30pm-7.30pm at the college, off Stockton Road, Hartlepool.

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