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Biggest apprenticeship event in the north

The BIG Apprenticeship Event at Hartlepool College
Our busy Atrium at this year's BIG Apprenticeship Event, boasting the biggest attendance in ten years.

Our annual showcase for major employers in the area has been described as the best one yet by our leaders here at Hartlepool College of Further Education – ten years after it was first launched. Our Big Apprenticeship Event was held on Thursday, February 8 as part of National Apprenticeship Week and it was the biggest one so far.

Sixty-nine employers were in attendance to provide apprenticeship advice and opportunities for potential employees. The event is believed to be the largest of its kind in the north and has become an established presence on the academic calendar.

Companies were represented across a wide-range of sectors by having their own stand, representing various fields such as civil engineering, hair and beauty, steel making and the NHS. The College’s Vice Principal Gary Riches said: “It was brilliant to see so many employers looking to recruit apprentices and it was also excellent to see so many employers providing advice and guidance to prospective apprentices, their parents and carers. When we first started this event in 2014 there were 29 employers so we are incredibly proud of what the Big Apprenticeship Event has become today. Many of those have come back each year and this highlights the College’s exceptional engagement with employers that we have. We work extremely hard to meet the needs of our partners.”

More than 950 apprentices train with Hartlepool College spread over more than 330 employers. Hartlepool College is the only college in the north of England that is graded outstanding by Ofsted for its apprenticeship provision and the Department for Education recently named it as one of only 13 expert apprenticeship providers in the country.

Donna King of Seymour Civil Engineering and colleagues, advising potential Apprentices on the opporunities in civil engineering
Donna King, with colleagues of Seymour, advising potential Apprentices in the many opportunities in civil engineering.

Donna King, academy manager at Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “We are at this event to speak to the future generation and hopefully to those who will be part of our business, bridging the skills gap in the construction industry. Generally, we want to inspire – that is why we are here. There have been many people talking to us about support roles in our business too, like in HR, admin as well as in construction. We have been to this event every year, the facilities are excellent and the numbers have been good too. It’s an excellent night to be part of.”


Jessica Williams of Just Williams Ltd, giving expert advice and information on Apprenticeship opportunities to potential Apprentices at the BIG Apprenticeship Event.

Jessica Williams, managing director of Just Williams, said: “Supporting the next generation of apprentices during apprenticeship week has been a focus of ours since we started nine years ago. We are honoured to be here, to show the next generation what is possible and inspire those in the Teesside area. This is the biggest event of its kind in the north and is testament to Hartlepool College that they have relationships with so many businesses. And we should also say a big well done to the business community too for turning out in such numbers because this is a great sign they want to support the next generation.”

View and download from the official Flickr gallery of the event >> https://www.flickr.com/photos/hartlepoolfe/albums/72177720314670940/

The full list of business attendees at the Big Event were: Seymour Civil Engineering, Now Lets Travel, Teesworks, Teesside University, NEPIC, Unison, GEM Partnership, Hartlepool Borough Council, Springwell School, Siobhan Meadows Hairdressing, Anna Campbell Hairdressing, Retreat Beauty Salon, Troo, Kier Group, LV Shipping, RelyOn Nutec, Woodsmith Group, Interlect UK, Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Trust, North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Trust, Aircon Group, Property Webmasters, Steadfast Security, Just Williams, Marshalls, NEC, JDM Earth, Primetals Technologies, MGL Group, Caterpillar, Katmex, Industrial and Marine Hydraulics, SeAH Wind, Alpek Polyester UK, Teknoware, EDF, Huntsman, Darchen Engineering, Wilton Engineering, Altec Engineering, Unipres, Eastgate Engineering, Gestamp Tallent, Tata Steel, JBA Engineering, DarbyTech, Quorn Foods, TMD Friction, Axiom Engineering, IfATE, Orangebox Training, JDR Cables, Applebridge, Kellas Midstream, Halfords, Babcock International, Willis Aviation, Boulby Underground Laboratory, Zest, McNally and Thompson, Persimmon Homes, Thirteen, Venator, Husqvarna, East Durham Manufacturing.

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