Employers across the Tees Valley have a new partner to support their skills needs.
Northern Skills Group – an expert provider of apprenticeships, employer-led training and retraining – has launched in the North East.
It’s the specialist training arm of Middlesbrough College, and includes the expertise of the former North East Chamber of Commerce training provider, NECC Training.
Whether it’s guidance on how to tackle training staff, help in securing funding or advice on navigating the law, Northern Skills Group can lead the way.
The new group, which has bases in Durham, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and York, is already working with a range of businesses – from multi-nationals to owner-managed firms.
Its team of experts, many from industry backgrounds, is on a mission to equip businesses with the means to increase productivity, improve competitiveness and future-proof their skills.
Peter Wilson, Northern Skills Group lead, said: “We know businesses of all shapes and sizes in the Tees Valley need a skills partner they can rely on to provide sound advice and practical solutions across commercial and technical training.
“Northern Skills Group has the interests of the regional economy at its core. We share the ambitions of businesses going for growth.
“That’s why we build skills training solutions and apprenticeships around companies’ specific needs. We deliver training from their premises, our own industry-leading STEM Centre, and other bases across the North.”
Peter explained the Group is helping some of the region’s most innovative businesses to invest in, and develop, their people to secure a competitive and sustainable advantage.
He added: “Not only are we working with some of the region’s most high profile businesses such as Hitachi Rail Europe, Primex, SAGE (UK), ElringKlinger (GB) and Nifco we are also supporting an increasing number of SMEs, including owner-managed businesses, that share a determination for our region to be competitive in a globalised economy.
“Northern Skills Group is committed to shaping the skills agenda for the 21st Century, and we’ll do that by working closely with regional businesses.”
With the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy coming into force in April 2017, the team is focussed on guiding employers through the changes and opportunities.
Northern Skills Group advisors want to show smaller companies how they can take advantage of available Government funding as 98% of employers will pay no levy but will be eligible to receive vouchers to fund apprentices.
The introduction of the Levy, which is designed to put apprenticeship funding back into the hands of employers, will see the adoption of new ‘Apprenticeship standards’ that will replace existing apprenticeship frameworks.
Employers need to update their payroll software to prepare for the changes, and the Northern Skills Group team can help.
Peter added: “Understanding the Apprenticeship Levy and apprenticeship reforms is crucial for businesses of all sizes. For firms with a wage bill of less than £3m per year, there may be significant benefits available – and we want them to capitalise on that opportunity.
“We can help businesses to plan their workforce development around the Levy and its implications.
“Apprenticeships are a proven, cost effective way to increase business growth. By investing in managers of the future businesses can bank future productivity gains.”
Meanwhile funding is also available to Tees Valley businesses who want to build apprenticeships training into their workforce strategies.
The Tees Valley Apprenticeship Grant offers employers £3,500 to support the costs of recruiting an apprentice (aged between 16-24 years old), provided they commence their apprenticeship training before the December 31, 2016.
Northern Skills Group is responsible for more than 2,000 apprentices across the North East and North Yorkshire.
The Group’s training team – specifically chosen for industry expertise – is equipped to work with employers and learners to get the most value from apprenticeship programmes in the workplace.
• For more information on how Northern Skills Group can help your business, contact their business advisors on 03453 40 40 40 or firstname.lastname@example.org