Diversity of apprenticeship programmes creating robust future workforces for Tees businesses

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

The diversity of opportunities for businesses and young people through apprenticeships is being highlighted by the impact of training being delivered by Northern Skills Group.

The training and apprenticeship arm of Middlesbrough College has become the largest apprenticeship provider in the North-East, serving a significant number of industries, which has also led to Northern Skills Group supporting companies based outside of the region.

Since it was launched in 2016, Northern Skills Group has worked with more than 2,000 employers across the North, which has led to the organisation training a substantial cohort of more than 2,500 apprentices. Of that group, 137 apprenticeships are being delivered at management level.

Peter Wilson, director of Northern Skills Group, explains: “The large group of businesses we work with understand how vital apprenticeships are to securing the future of their companies.

“As the economy, on a regional, national and international level, becomes increasingly competitive, the ability to develop future generations of skilled and motivated employees who can be quickly and effectively integrated into the workforce is vitally important.”

One of the strengths of Northern Skills Group training provision is the breadth of disciplines and industry sectors in which it delivers apprenticeship training.

In addition to those industries most synonymous with the training of apprentices, such as engineering and construction, among the 21 sectors it serves, the organisation delivers programmes in a wide variety of specialisms ranging from Project Management, Credit Management and Dental Nursing to Leadership and Management, Business Administration and Health and Care.

One Tees Valley employer that is embracing the personal development opportunities provided by Leadership and Management training is Darlington Building Society. The organisation, which has branches across the area, has used the apprenticeship framework model to support a group of 12 staff gain skills to further their careers.

“Apprenticeship training is a proven route to arming both young people and adults with the skills, competencies and experience that can transform them into valuable members of their employer’s workforce,” said Peter.

“This has led to a demand for the apprenticeship model from a wider portfolio of sectors, which we have helped to drive at Northern Skills Group.”

Northern Skills Group’s in-house sector specialists work closely with employers to develop tailored, bespoke apprenticeship programmes in addition to advice on maximising the opportunities provided by the Apprenticeship Levy and utilising the funding available. They also offer a full recruitment service to help companies identify suitable candidates.

This support and the diversity of its provision enables Northern Skills Group to provide a cross-section of apprentices into individual businesses.

This includes technology services provider, Appamondo, which has two apprentices at its base in Boho House working towards Business Administration

In addition, as a result of the Teesside’s industrial heritage and its contemporary role in sectors such as energy, manufacturing and process, Northern Skills Group is highly-active in the engineering-based markets.

This includes partnerships with British Steel on Teesside for the training of 22 apprentices in Performing Manufacturing Operations and County Durham-based manufacturer Hitachi Rail Europe, where it has a current group of 60 apprentices training across Performing Manufacturing Operations and Leadership and Management.

Northern Skills Group also supports small and medium-sized (SME) businesses throughout Teesside and the North-East with apprenticeship programmes in a number of sectors.

On Teesside, this includes Ultimate Grooming in Yarm, which currently has two barbering apprentices.

“The rich diversity of apprenticeship programmes we offer demonstrates that businesses of all sizes and sectors can engage with vocational training to add value to their operations and prepare for the future,” added Peter.


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