Gateshead College has joined forces with Cleveland Police on an initiative to support the recruitment of PCSO’s.
The first cohort of twelve would-be PCSOs have recently completed their four week pre-employment course and were praised for their achievements by Cleveland Police Force’s Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin and the Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.
During their month-long course, the participants studied the role of the PCSO and also covered topics such as ethics, customer service and communication skills.
PCC Barry Coppinger said: “The Everyone Matters programme is all about encouraging and developing the right attitudes and values and I was inspired and encouraged that 12 local young people within just a 4 week period can grow so much in confidence and knowledge. I have seen people who can both serve their communities and do them proud and I congratulate everyone involved in this project’.
Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin added: “The pilot course has been a great success, with 12 learners now fully equipped to go on to apply for PCSO positions. We’re now going to develop the programme to attract people from diverse communities into policing”.
Cleveland Police worked with Gateshead College, Equality North East and Job Centre Plus to run the PCSO Pre-Employment Course.
Gateshead College Assistant Principal Kevin Marston said: “It’s fantastic to see the graduates successfully complete the PCSO Academy programme, which has given them a solid foundation to build a career within Cleveland Police. Through the programme people acquire the key skills, attributes and confidence needed to move into employment and continue the force’s great work in local communities.”
Andrea Johnson, Head of Operations, Equality North East added: "Equality North East has worked in partnership with Cleveland Police for over two years now and I am delighted to have worked alongside colleagues from Gateshead College to design and deliver this PCSO programme.
“The pilot is the first of its kind in the region and we are looking forward to expanding the initiative both regionally and nationally. Our learners have worked hard and achieved so much in a short space of time, and now they have a thorough understanding of the role. I wish them every success in the recruitment process. I look forward to continuing to support Cleveland Police with their positive action activities and congratulate them in their commitment to embed inclusive practices in modern day policing."