People from Hartlepool and the surrounding area are being given the opportunity to forge a career in a fast growing sector thanks to an exciting partnership between Hartlepool College of Further Education and Heir Hunter UK.

Heir Hunter UK, which was set up by husband and wife team Fraser and Tracy Kinnie, specialises in tracing missing beneficiaries to unclaimed estates.

With an increase in the number of bequests waiting to be claimed across the UK, business is booming so the firm has enlisted the help of the College to help boost the workforce from nine to in excess of 50 by next summer.

The firm, based on Queens Meadow Business Park in Hartlepool, also helps families track down long-lost relatives.

Andy Steel, Vice Principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “Heir Hunter UK is a progressive company with a lot of potential for further growth offering jobs to young people in a niche market.

“They are looking to grow their business by giving jobs to people in Hartlepool and the surrounding areas, and we are delighted to be able to deliver this apprenticeship in partnership with them.

“Successful applicants will follow an apprenticeship programme which has been tailored to suit the company’s business needs.

“We offer a wide variety of apprenticeships which cover all business sectors and we are extremely proud to be the second best college provider of apprenticeships in England.

“We continue to grow our number of apprenticeships delivered at the College and it is great to partner up with Heir Hunter UK and help them develop their business whilst offering quality employment opportunities for young people in Hartlepool.

“The market that Heir Hunter UK operates in is traditionally dominated by London- based companies, so we are delighted to be able to work alongside them and help them give opportunities to apprentices every quarter.”

Five students who were recruited earlier this year are approaching the end of their training, and a further 16 new recruits will join Heir Hunter UK at the end of the month.

Sarah Kinnie, Probate Researcher for Heir Hunter UK, added: “We are delighted to have linked up with Hartlepool College of Further Education as our learning provider to set up this work-based apprenticeship, and this is a relationship we are hoping will develop in the long-term as we continue to grow.

“We will bring in 16 trainees from our recruitment with the College early in November, and there will be an intake every quarter after that. It is an opportunity for the student to see if they like what we do as an organisation, and for us to see if they fit into our plan.

“This is an exciting opportunity to start a career in what is quite a niche industry, and if the trainees follow the plan and progress then the chance is there for them to develop into a Senior Probate Researcher position further down the line.

“The aim at Heir Hunter UK is to have a team of around 50 by next summer, and this link-up with the College is a key part of us filling those roles.”

Recruitment for the November cohort has now opened and those interested in applying can contact the College on 01429 404073, email apprenticeships@hartlepoolfe.ac.uk or visit www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk