Category: Press

Unipres increases apprenticeship intake with Hartlepool College of Further Education

Hartlepool College of Further Education has strengthened its relationship with industry partner Unipres, both extending its apprenticeship contract with the Sunderland based automotive parts manufacturer and welcoming a further cohort of 15 apprentices.

Hartlepool College will be welcoming the next group of apprentices in the new academic year, doubling the number of Unipres apprentices currently training with the College.

Maureen Askew, Senior Controller of the Unipres Training Academy, said: “Our relationship with the College initially started in 2017 when the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced, and we went to tender.

“During that initial tendering process, Hartlepool College of Further Education came across as the strongest provider.

“They were incredibly strong against the competition and ultimately the finishing touch was the feedback from the current apprentices which was extremely positive. This is why we’ve engaged again with Hartlepool College.

“Although slightly further away than our more local providers, they’ve taken away the barrier of transport so that is no longer an issue.”

To help apprentices from Sunderland to reach Hartlepool every week, the College has developed a free transport programme. Meaning the issues Unipres contested against with previous providers has been eased.

Gary Riches, Head of Apprenticeships at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “The students themselves have been performing brilliantly. We encourage open conversation between our students, the College and Unipres, so we can build that partnership and give as much back as we can.

“I personally believe that the apprentice feedback and the standard of work has been the reason Unipres has decided to continue working with us.

“The communication between all parties is a key factor. We’re always on the end of the phone or a quick drive down the road. We’re transparent as a College and we’re always ready to receive a visit. Everything you see during a visit is what we do day in day out.”

In the last 30 years, Unipres has employed over 300 apprentices with the newest cohort part of a long history of training at the car parts manufacturer. One such former apprentice is John Cruddace, the current Operations Director of the Unipres’ Washington plant.

John said: “I’m a little bit old school when it comes to standards and everything we’ve seen so far has excelled those standards. I was looking for the discipline that was instilled into me when I was an apprentice and that’s key for me. Once you have that you have the willingness to learn so you can go on to anything. The College provides that for me.

“We have a great bunch of apprentices at the moment who are fully buying into what the College is offering and it’s great to see. I’m confident we can continue building upon this partnership.”

Maureen concluded: “From what we’ve seen so far, I would say Hartlepool College of Further Education has the strongest employer engagement strategy, the most flexible proposal, and is definitely value for money.”

Hartlepool College of Further Education is the number one apprenticeship provider in the North of England and works with a variety of employers offering unrivalled apprenticeship delivery. For more information on the College’s apprenticeship model go to www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk

Record-breaking £7m turnover results in first apprenticeship drive

Entec Design Ltd, based in Stockton on Tees, is celebrating three years of rapid development and a turnover of £7 million by welcoming its first ever apprentices to the team.

The Stockton-based full building envelope subcontractor was founded in 2015 and has taken on two apprentices from Hartlepool College of Further Education to support further expansion plans at the company.

Terry O’Brien, Managing Director of the firm, said: “Growth has been a lot faster than we all thought it would be.

“In the short three years we’ve been operating we’ve gone from zero to over £7m turnover and we’re currently planning to build the company to a point where we hope to reach over £10m per annum.

“The problem we’ve had with such a quick growth is we’ve struggled to determine just how many people we need within the business and have been recruiting after the gap appears. We’ve learnt our lesson and are now looking forward to the future, to bed people in early and know exactly what we need ahead of time and that’s where Hartlepool College comes in.

“We decided early on that whenever we were bringing people on board we needed them to be experienced, as we struggled to find the time to train staff effectively. But now that we have the experienced personnel in place we’re hungry to introduce younger blood.”

To fill the apprenticeship positions, Entec approached Hartlepool College of Further Education in order to find the right candidates.

Alan Clayton. Technical Director and a former student of Construction and the Built Environment at Hartlepool College, said: “We initially contacted Teesside University, and they suggested Hartlepool College. Obviously with my past at the College I thought it would be a great fit.”

Gary Riches, Head of Apprenticeships at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “Alan had provided a list of things Entec required and myself and John Cartwright, Head of Construction and the Built Environment at the College (CBE) sat down and agreed we could provide that.

“We invited Alan down to the College because, as an ex-student, I believed he might find it interesting to see just how much the College has changed since his time with us. I believe Alan liked what he saw, liked what he had on offer at the School of CBE and the relationship was built from there.”

The new apprentices are the first in a long line of apprenticeships for Entec Design Ltd as the construction subcontractor has already enquired about a further apprentice from the Hartlepool based training provider.

Hartlepool College of Further Education provides training for a number of prominent companies across the region, including Seymour Civil Engineering, Esh, Jacobs, Taylor Wimpey, Galliford Try and Gus Robinson.
For more information on apprenticeships at Hartlepool College visit www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk/apprenticeships

Hartlepool businesses join forces to support local hospice

Two of Hartlepool’s leading businesses and prominent supporters of Alice House Hospice have pledged their support to this year’s Moonlight Memory Walk, one of the charity’s most popular and well established events.

Hospice patron J&B Recycling and corporate partner Seymour Civil Engineering have co-sponsored the five mile night time walk which takes place on September 8. The route leaves Hartlepool College of Further Education at 10pm and is a circuit turning round at the halfway point at Seaton Carew Golf Club.

Mark Penny, Commercial Manager at J&B Recycling, said: “J&B is incredibly proud to be able to sponsor the Moonlight Memory Walk this year. The company has been a member of the hospice’s Guild of Patrons for a number of years now, working to support the work the hospice does in the local community, which also brings benefit to both our employees and customers.”

Seymour Civil Engineering’s Lisa Gooding added: “The work of the hospice touches the hearts of so many in Hartlepool and its surrounding areas, to be able to give back to the hospice means a great deal to Seymour. A number of Seymour employees have taken part in the walk in previous years and the event is always a really good night. We’re keen to help make this year the biggest and best yet.”

Both businesses are celebrating significant business milestones, with J&B celebrating its 20th anniversary and Seymour its 40th. The two organisations are long term supporters of local hospice care and over the years have helped with funding and resources for a variety of projects.

Greg Hildreth, a fundraiser at the Hospice said “we are delighted that Hospice patients and their families can benefit from the ongoing support of these very generous businesses. Both companies have been invaluable in funding the delivery of our care services. Support such as this offsets running costs of events and helps ensure that the money raised can go straight back into helping people in need. We hope that lots of people will join us for another memorable evening.”

Entrants to the Moonlight Memory Walk will receive pre-event refreshments as well as a fantastic warm up disco from Walter Barton of Deck One and there will also be a late supper provided on completion of the walk. To register, go to www.alicehousehospice.co.uk or call Janice on 01429 855536 to request a paper form.

J&B Recycling recognised for its excellence in national awards

Continuing the 20th year of trading celebrations, J&B Recycling has been named the winner of the UK Excellence in Recycling Solutions Award by the Business Excellence Awards.

 

The awards, which are ran by Corporate Insider, are dedicated to displaying excellence across different corporate industries, and after a fantastic year which has seen J&B make significant investments across the business and achieved record financials, the judges crowned the Middlesbrough-based business the winner.

 

J&B Recycling’s Managing Director, Vikki Jackson-Smith, said: “The past year has been a fantastic one for J&B and to have all our hard work formally recognised on a national level by the Business Excellence Awards is amazing.

 

“To celebrate our 20th anniversary we’ve pushed the business to the next level by making a series of major investments, with more investment planned for the next 12 months. To know that we’re now leading the way within the UK industry, as an independently owned firm, is fantastic.”

 

The announcement of record financials back in 2017, along with the upgrades to its machinery, plant, and fleet, has set J&B Recycling up perfectly to continue to grow, with a vision for future acquisitions.

 

Vikki added: “Our future plans are ambitious, but we’re more than confident in our ability to achieve them. The future looks fantastic for J&B, we have strong line of development capital funding from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) behind us, and we are not limited to how much of that £2.6 billion fund we can access.

 

“I’m really proud that the Business Excellence Awards has named J&B the winner of the UK Excellence in Recycling Solutions award in our 20th year. I’m excited to see the company continue to develop and grow over the next 20 years, living up to our title as a recycling firm that delivers service excellence to all of our customers.”

 

This year’s winners also included Bank of Cyprus, Amigo Loans, IBB Builders Merchants, Smart Apprentices and Deloitte.

 

Arianna Smith, Head of Corporate Awards commented on the vigorous level of competition this year. “We were simply overwhelmed with the volume of nominations received for this year’s Business Excellence Awards.

 

“The judging panel had no easy task in selecting the winners, and I personally am very proud of each and every winner. I look forward to visiting some of the winning firms in 2019.”

How accreditations helped drive Total Recycling’s growth

Darlington-based waste management company, Total Recycling Services believes in the importance of acquiring accreditations. Rather than just ticking a box, the multi-million-pound organisation strives to go over and above and is urging other businesses to do the same.

Since beginning in 2009, Total has earned accreditations from professional bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization, British Standards Institution, and the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme amongst others.

Andy Dobson, Operations Director at Total Recycling Services knows accreditations inside out and with the help of a dedicated Integrated Systems Manager, he has guided the company throughout its growth from a few contacts and members of staff, to a £15m turnover and over 97 staff operating from its Darlington site.

To help bring some clarity, Andy, explains why accreditations are of top priority at Total Recycling Services and why they should be for any businesses who are wanting to grow.

He said: “The simplest way to put it, is that accreditations give us a route into a lot of our customers.

“There are a lot of customers that won’t even entertain us if us don’t have the relevant documentation. These customers are the big blue-chip companies that place a lot confidence in the people they choose to work with and without the evidence to show you are a credible company, they won’t even give you a second glance.

“What these customers ideally want is for their systems to align with yours, and be of a similar standard and as ISO is the internationally recognised accreditation it means there are more doors open to us as a company.

“So, if you share the same qualification, your customer will be happy and confident that you have the same things in place. “

Total Recycling Services works with number of large companies including Akzo Nobel, Nissan, Hitachi and Caterpillar.

Andy, continued: “The companies that we chase, the ones we want to work with. We wouldn’t get through the tendering process without the accreditations we have.

“Most of the big companies now have tender packs that are sent out and we have to provide to them the relevant documentation before we even try to tender.

“It’s not just a case of meeting with them and having a cup of tea and some biscuits, we have to show we have BSEN ISO 9001:2015; BSEN ISO14001:2015; OHSAS 18001:2007 as a first step, as well having the documentation available to show how this was achieved

“Pretty much, if you can’t tick that box you have no chance with the tender.

“At Total Recycling Services, we’ve held ISO accreditations since the first year that we opened in 2009, working to their principles. Having them has certainly helped us to work alongside a lot of the larger companies in the region.

“However, for us it’s not about passing something on an annual basis, they’re about continually working at them and driving improvement all year round as well as giving a solid foundation for legal compliance, particularly with Health, Safety and Environmental matters, which are critical in our industry.

’All systems need to be audited on a regular basis, allowing ongoing opportunities for improvement and being able to demonstrate that you’ve done it as well, year on year.

“Sharing good practice with our customers through this process has also helped. If a customer has developed a good working method or safety system for example, and we can adopt that too – it gives them the additional confidence that we share similar goals. A real working partnership can develop this way.

“It’s absolutely beneficial to all companies to seek out these accreditations. For Total Recycling Services its helped us take that step to where we want to be with our customers and our business. We wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with them and we are proud to say we work with the big firms.”

Andy’s advises other companies must do the same too if they’re looking to go for different tenders.

He said: “I cannot emphasise the importance, that no matter how small a company you are, if you’re wanting to work with bigger organisations you must look at the relevant accreditations.

“It can be a lengthy process but it’s definitely worth it. One new contract can totally take your business to the next level.

“There are a million accreditations out there but you must look at the ones which are relevant for your business. Most recently we became members of RoSPA and worked to receive our bronze award in health and safety.”

 

Hartlepool College of Further Education steps up to inspire individuals with new FutureMe Zone

HARTLEPOOL College of Further Education has pledged to inspire future generations and guide individuals into their chosen careers, by opening a dedicated advice lounge for students and members of the public.

Working in partnership with the North East Collaborative Outreach Programme (NECOP), the College officially marked the opening of the FutureMe Zone with special guest British boxer and ex-student Savannah Marshall who cut the ribbon and welcomed in students.

After a recent report from the Children’s Commissioner showed that a child from a disadvantaged background in Hackney is three times more likely to go to university than a child from a disadvantaged background in Hartlepool, Head of Student Recruitment and CEIAG at Hartlepool College of Further Education, Mark Lee, is confident the lounge will both raise aspirations and make a positive difference.

He said: “It’s no secret that the Tees Valley has had its fair share of knock backs when it comes to employment and career opportunities.

“But instead of letting these statistics define us, we want it to drive us. It’s our role as a College to give everyone learning opportunities and the support and guidance they need to get their foot on the career ladder. We’re confident the FutureMe Zone will do just this.”

The newly opened lounge in the College offers a modern, comfortable space where students can access careers advice and explore the opportunities available to them through further and higher education, with the support of specialist advisors.

In addition to this, the College has also partnered with the Hartlepool Job Centre to open the zone to the wider public once a fortnight.

Mark explains: “We’ve seen many careers services reduced across the region with a national focus on moving advice to online platforms. However, it’s clear that people aren’t engaging with careers content online or via telephone. What works is good old-fashioned face-to-face personalised support, using technology to enhance the advice not deliver it.

“The connotations associated with turning up to the Job Centre to sign on are also quite negative. Instead the FutureMe Zone provides a relaxed, and positive environment where people can come to chat to a Job Centre careers advisor about what career options are available to them, through education or otherwise.”

The Hartlepool College’s FutureMe Zone is part of FutureMe North East, a programme of activities and services offered to students by the NECOP which is made up of five universities and 18 further education colleges in the North East.

In 2016 the programme received a £7.7million grant to increase the number of young people from participating neighbourhoods in the region entering higher education by 2020.

Mark added: “We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with the NECOP to secure the funding to create a space that will benefit young people in both the short and long-term.

“NECOP aims to raise awareness of higher opportunities for learners and here at Hartlepool College we’re all about excellence in Further and Higher Education. Our strong partnerships with universities across the region, particularly Teesside University, speak for themselves, and the College has also been recognised by Ofsted as having outstanding student support.

“This new space dedicated to life after College gives us a platform to raise this awareness amongst students in the region in a modern way.”

The zone is open to students every weekday from 1-4pm and the first session with Hartlepool Job Centre takes place on Thursday 24th May.

Seymour lays solid foundations for 40th year with top business award

Seymour Civil Engineering kicked off its 40th anniversary celebrations in style after stealing the night at this year’s Hartlepool Business Awards.

The team, who attended the glittering awards ceremony at the Hartlepool Borough Hall, celebrated a double award win picking up the Investment in Training award, closely followed by the diamond of the night, being named the Overall Business of the Year.

Karl Brennan, Pre-Construction Director at the firm, said: “It was brilliant to win the Business of the Year Award at this year’s event, especially as it is a very special year for the firm. Seymour is a Hartlepool company, which is proud to have its roots in the town, and to win this award on our 40th anniversary year is an absolutely fantastic achievement.

Over the past 12 months alone the Hartlepool based firm has carried out a diverse range of flagship projects, both within the town and across the wider North East and Yorkshire region.

Karl continued: “I am really proud to be a part of Seymour and was truly honoured to have been able to accept the trophy at the award event this year. I’m looking forward to taking it back to our head office in Hartlepool and sharing it with all the colleagues who have made Seymour what it is today and who have made winning possible.”

The Hartlepool Business Awards celebrated the successes of a range of Hartlepool based businesses in a selection of categories.

The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Reece Hugill, founder of Hartlepool brewery, Donzoko Brewing Company, whilst Business Leader of the Year was awarded to Rob Collier, who spearheads a group of multi-million pound businesses in the town.

It was a double win for Rob Collier, as Advanced Retail Solutions won the Service sector category, whilst Families First North East took the Community award.

The Manufacturing award went to The Expanded Metal Company, Couch Potato Films won the Creative Industries category, and the Tourism, leisure and Hospitality award went to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

After a successful year, which has seen its workforce grow from three to seven, JDM Earth Ltd was named Small Business of the Year, and Simon Corbett, Founder of Orangebox Training Solutions celebrated winning the Most Promising New Business category.

Karl Brennan from Seymour Civil Engineering, added: “Seymour is a business that doesn’t see standing still as an option. We have continuously reinvented ourselves, innovating in a number of different civil disciplines from drainage strategies and sea defences to urban regeneration schemes and historic restoration services.

“Recognising the 40th anniversary over the next few months is going to be really exciting and we have lots of celebrations planned. Yet we’re in it for the long game and our success doesn’t stop here. We are constantly looking at how we can make the next 40 years of Seymour a thriving success, pushing the business to the next level in every way possible.”

Seymour recognised for its commitment to inspiring the engineers of the future.

Seymour Civil Engineering’s passion for inspiring and nurturing future generations of civil engineers has been formally recognised, as the company was presented with the Mike Gardiner Cup at this year’s ICE North East annual dinner, for the second year running.

The Mike Gardiner Cup is an award presented to the company who has shown outstanding support of the Institute of Civil Engineers Education Programme, and has been proactive in engaging with the younger generations across the North East.

Kevin Byrne, Seymour’s Managing Director, who was presented with the cup at the ICE annual dinner at the end of April, said: “As a business we see the importance of inspiring the next generations to consider a career within the civil engineering industry and we are passionate about showcasing the industry to the engineers of the future in any way we can.

“It’s no secret that our industry is facing a pretty serious skills shortage, one that if not tackled will have a serious impact on the future of the civil engineering sector. Seymour has an apprenticeship programme that we’re incredibly proud of, that has supported young engineers into the business and has given them the grounds to really excel within the industry.

“In addition to this, we also recognise the importance of engaging with the engineers of the future as early as possible, to ensure that 13/14 year olds choosing their subjects at GCSE have all the information they need to consider a career within engineering.”

Over the past 12 months, Seymour has attended a number of interactive events across the North East, showcasing the ICE’s cable stayed bridge, an activity which gives school children the opportunity to have a go at building and dismantling a 13m span cable stayed bridge.

Kevin added: “Civil engineers design, build and maintain the world around us and make our day-to-day activities possible. Interactive activities like the cable stayed bridge reveal to younger students the impact that civil engineering has in our modern society.

“The bridge exercise has been even more impactful this year as for many of the children taking part in the activity, the construction of the Northern Spire, the cable-stayed bridge over the River Wear in Sunderland, is happening right on their doorsteps.”

As well as exhibiting at numerous events, Seymour has strong connections with a number of local schools and colleges, with employees acting as STEM ambassadors and CITB Construction ambassadors committing time and resources to attending career events, pushing the opportunities available within the engineering sector.

Taking home, the Mike Gardiner Cup has kicked started what the company hopes will be a successful awards season as it celebrates its 40th year anniversary.

Seymour Civil Engineering has made it down to the final in seven out of 14 categories, totalling nine shortlistings across all the categories, at the 2018 Construction Excellence North East awards, as well as being shortlisted in three categories, including Company of the Year, in this year’s Hartlepool Business Awards.

At the recent Civil Engineering Contractors Association North East awards, they swept the board winning Project of the Year, Going the Extra Mile Award, Health and Safety Company of the Year and Training Company of the Year.

J&B celebrates double shortlisting for the MRW National Recycling Awards 2018

NORTH East based J&B Recycling is in line for a national award after being recognised for the exceptional work they deliver within the waste management industry.

The well-established recycling company, has been shortlisted for both Independent Operator of the Year and the Efficiency Award at the 2018 National Recycling Awards.

The annual ceremony, which brings together over 650 recycling and waste management professionals at The Hilton on Park Lane in London, is recognised as being the most respected within the industry.

J&B’s Managing Director, Vikki Jackson-Smith, said: “To be shortlisted amongst some of the biggest names in the UK’s waste management sector is an amazing achievement for the business. The past financial year has been an exceptional year for J&B Recycling. With an abundance of major investments and record financial growth, coupled with efficiency processes that have been of massive benefit to the business.’’

The shortlisting has come just weeks after the company celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of investments made to its plant, machinery and vehicle fleet, totalling £1.3m.

“Myself and the team at J&B are incredibly proud of our existing position as the largest independent waste management firm in the North East of England. And national recognition, as J&B Recycling celebrates its 20th year of trading, would be a real honour and privilege,’’ Vikki added.

Over the past 12 months, J&B has won other prestigious awards in recognition of its hard work within the trade. Late last year the company was crowned ‘Recycling Firm of the Year’ by the International Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence Awards 2018.

With the capacity for the handling and sorting of up to 75,000 tonnes of recyclable materials per annum, the company achieved record growth for the financial year ending 2017, reporting a turnover of £15.7m.

Total Recycling Services is a North East Business Award winner

Darlington-based waste management company, Total Recycling Services has beat off stiff competition to claim the title of Best Services Provider in the Teesside Heat of the North East Business Awards, held at Teesside University’s Olympia Building.

Total Recycling Services, which operates from two sites in Darlington’s Yarm Road Business Park, will now go on to compete with winners from the Northumberland & Tyneside and Durham, Sunderland & South Tyneside heats at the Grand Final on 26 April at Hardwick Hall.

Alex Foreman, Managing Director of Total Recycling Services, said about his company’s win: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked. To go up against some of the best service providers in the region is an honour in of itself, but to bring home the win is unbelievable.

“Every single company at the awards is proof that the Tees Valley is a fantastic and prosperous place for businesses and I’m happy to be in the position to celebrate the successes we’ve had over the last ten years.

“We’ve constantly tried to do things differently at Total and to win such an award is fantastic recognition for the hard work our staff put in and the excellent work we provide for our customers every single day.”

The awards are held to celebrate not just the biggest but the best businesses in the North East and see over 2,000 people attend every year.

Other winners on the night include Prosafe Engineering as Newcomer of the Year, Cleveland Bridge in Manufacturing, Wynyard Hall in Tourism & Hospitality and Quorn Foods as Company of the Year.

Alex concluded: “We’re now looking forward the Grand Final in April and having the opportunity to represent the Tees Valley and every one of its great businesses on a larger scale.”

Total Recycling Services will now join electrical engineers Houghton International and engineering consultants M5tec Limited in the Services Category at the Grand Finale.