College chiefs are celebrating being named the second in a national table of apprenticeship providers.
Hartlepool College of Further Education has been named at number two in the national apprenticeship provider rankings.
Recently-published league table placed the college second, five places higher than its previous ranking of seventh after strong academic performances over the last academic year.
During the 2014/15 academic year, 85.7% of college students achieved their apprenticeship framework, 1.4% behind table-topping Epping Forest College, in the Skills Funding Agency rankings.
Hartlepool College of Further Education principal, Darren Hankey, hailed the college’s high ranking and highlighted the hard work being done by staff, students and employers.
Mr Hankey said apprenticeships are being regarded as a real alternative to A-levels.
He said: “Taking this route is very effective, not only for the apprentices themselves but for the employers who can train the students and mould them into an employee who fits straight into their workforce.
“We have built up excellent relationships with hundreds of local and regional employers over the years, and it is fantastic that Hartlepool College of Further Education remains their first port of call when they look at their recruitment programmes.
“We are the second biggest apprenticeship provider in the North East region with fantastic engineering and aerospace programmes, as well as everything from plumbing to design, so to be recognised nationally is a great achievement for us,” he added.
Greg Robson, head of training, development and organisation at Caterpillar Peterlee, praised the college for the latest performance.
He highlighted the college’s support of students through their qualifications and also the values they are taught such as taking accountability in the quality of their work and safe working practices.
He said: “Over the last six years we have continued to work with Hartlepool College of Further Education for the delivery of all Caterpillar Peterlee apprenticeships.
“Everyone at Caterpillar Peterlee offers their congratulations to the college.”