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flying the apprenticeship flag for the region

Darren Hankey with some of our ace apprentices

Delighted we have been shortlisted for the ‘Apprenticeship Programme of the Year’ at the TES Further Education Awards 2018. The award is one of the highest accolades bestowed within the apprenticeship industry and organisations across the country compete each year for the prestigious honour. The College, which has been ranked number one general further education provider of apprenticeships in the North of England, was recognised by the judges for its strategic and innovative delivery of apprenticeships, as well as its outstanding commitment to supporting both its students and business partners.

Darren Hankey, Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Hartlepool College of Further Education has been shortlisted for such a prestigious national award. This builds on the College’s recent OFSTED judgement and is a testament to the hard work of everyone who works on the College’s apprenticeship programme. It also reflects the quality of the employers with which the College works.”

During its recent visit to the college, OFSTED, said: “Management of the apprenticeship provision is outstanding. The courses available meet the needs of employers and apprentices very well.”

Most recently, the College was one of the few to nationally buck the trend of falling apprenticeship starts last quarter. When apprenticeship starts across the country saw a decrease of 61% following levy reforms. Hartlepool College of Further Education saw a 6% apprenticeship increase, with further significant growth in the apprenticeship enrolments expected for 2018. Darren continued: “After the implementation of the apprenticeship reforms earlier this year, it was crucial for us to handle it the correct way and guide not just our College partners but also other businesses in the region about how the reforms would impact them. This has resulted in not only the strengthening of the College’s relationships across the region and us retaining 100% of our apprenticeships but has also resulted in new relationships that have in time developed into new apprenticeship programmes.”

The College works with over 500 firms, in sectors encompassing energy, advanced manufacturing, construction, digital and health, engaging over 750 apprentices, two-thirds of which are aged 16-18.

Darren said: “We have had an absolute record year, our enrolments are up, our apprenticeship programmes are up and earlier this year our apprenticeship programme was deemed Outstanding by OFSTED. This really is the perfect way to end the year and we cannot wait to attend the award ceremony.”
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