Industry expert to lead sixth form’s engineering programme

Hartlepool Sixth Form has appointed an industry specialist to lead its new engineering and technical curriculum.

And college leaders believe the appointment of Jeff Bower will ensure the sixth form’s portfolio reflects the growth ambitions and priorities for Hartlepool and the Tees Valley.

Mr Bower will take up the role of Engineering and Manufacturing Industry Lead, where he will use his considerable experience in engineering and education to work in collaboration with key stakeholders and employers so that students are supported by expert engineers, as well as mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists and educationalists.

He will ensure the development of academic and technical engineering skills are at the forefront of the curriculum, overseeing the launch of the sixth form’s new electronic and engineering courses which will offer an outstanding learning experience for students to the highest industry practice and academic standards.

On leaving Hartlepool Sixth Form, students will be able to pursue their higher-level engineering and manufacturing careers via a wide range of engineering related degree routes at a broad range of university partners.

Mr Bower will also ensure those students who wish to continue learning while earning a salary are supported into higher level apprenticeships with partner employers.

He said: “This unique role is an exciting new position and will involve ensuring only the very best teaching standards in academic and technical engineering, combined with strong links with employers, industry leaders and education specialists”.

Mr Bower has more than 40 years’ experience of working in engineering and education. However, it was after 27 years working within the engineering and manufacturing industries that he first took up a lecturing role at Derwentside College where he was a member of the Derwentside Engineering Forum, an innovative organisation which worked alongside employers and local schools to introduce a range of initiatives to develop the engineering workforce in County Durham.

In 2008, he became dual qualified as a specialist engineering teacher and has since held leadership positions at New College Durham and Sunderland Colleges.

Chief executive Ellen Thinnesen said: “I am delighted Jeff decided to apply for this exciting new role.

The progress of our brilliant sixth form students is of paramount importance to us. This is why we’ve developed a professional pathway that will allow young people to mix and match A levels and technical qualifications.

“For many years, Hartlepool Sixth Form’s graduates have been supplying the region’s industry professionals, including chemists, scientists, biologists, pharmacists, computer programmers, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and more.

“Considering the economic and skills demands set out by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, and wider North East LEP, it seemed only right that the sixth form invested in and extended its academic and technical track record into the engineering sector.”