Here at Hartlepool College, being the number one apprenticeship provider in the North of England we have signed up to the UNISON Apprenticeship Charter, promising correct pay and high-quality training to every one of its apprentices. The charter, which is put in place by the UKs second largest trade union, UNISON, aims to protect the rights of apprentices and ensure all providers adhere to the same codes of practice when it comes to their learners.
Darren Hankey, Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education said: “UNISON is one of the recognised trade unions that we work closely with here at the College. We were approached by a representative to see if we would be interested in signing up to the charter and we knew it was the right thing for our apprentices to do so.
“Ultimately the College has a long, well established, track record of providing apprenticeships. We are marked ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED for our apprenticeships and most recently have been shortlisted for Apprenticeship Program of the Year at the TES Further Education awards because of that. So rightly so we want to lead the way when it comes to protecting our learners. The charter is about high-quality apprenticeships and that’s what we strive to provide on a day to day basis and this really underlines our approach to the work that we do.”
Jo Spires, local organiser for UNISON Northern, said: “By signing the UNISON Apprentice Charter Hartlepool College shows a commitment that all apprenticeships offered will result in positive outcomes for both apprentices and the employer.
“Ensuring apprentices receive the correct rate of pay for jobs they are doing, high quality training and a safe working environment. The College is the first Apprentice provider in Hartlepool (Teesside?) to sign up to the charter and UNISON look forward to working together to deliver sessions on the role of trade unions in the workplace.”
Darren concluded: “Apprenticeships provide a wonderful opportunity for all organisations to meet their workforce development needs but also the opportunity to earn whilst they’re learning skills and gaining knowledge and qualifications they need to be successful in their careers. Apprenticeships are key to what we do here and we see apprenticeships as a way forward, not just for the development of our staff but for also offering a service to the people of Hartlepool and the wider area.”
Hartlepool College is hosting its annual Big Apprenticeship Event in March. The event sees employers and providers come together to promote a variety of apprenticeship opportunities and allows potential apprentices the opportunity to meet face to face with employers as well as gathering useful information and advice.