College collaborators: A joint approach leads to all-round success

Playing even a small part in helping to bring some of the first jobs back to the former SSI site has got to feel good, right? That is certainly the plan behind the new Routeway into Decommissioning programme being delivered by Redcar & Cleveland College.

The three-week intensive course is the result of a partnership between the college, the Department of Work and Pensions, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Altrad Services, with a shared ambition to upskill a local workforce.

Job Centre Plus and the Employment and Training Hubs are playing a key role too, along with the support of Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Stockton Riverside College Group’s director of business engagement Gary Potts says it is a great example of how a joinedup approach is the key to achieving results all round.

He said: “By working together to identify the specific skills required locally and by employers, the impact and benefit of the training is much greater.”

That is certainly part of the ethos at the college group, where he said: “We are not just about transactional relationships, we focus on developing transformational partnerships.”

The new decommissioning programme with Altrad is just one of a number of bespoke sector-based work academies developed with employers by the college group, to equip candidates with occupational knowledge and skills to meet the entry requirements of current available job vacancies in the business.

“It is a hugely beneficial programme for all involved,” said Gary. “For the business, it simplifies the recruitment process and they get the opportunity to shape and develop potential candidates.”

As for those taking part, they are developing new skills and achieving vocational qualifications, plus the courses come with a guaranteed job interview.

It’s just one of the ways the college group is working with employers and local agencies to ensure it is meeting business needs.

Gary said: “We feel strongly about serving our local employers and residents effectively. We want to continue to be a real asset to our local communities and the wider Tees Valley.”

Offering an extensive range of commercial courses, bespoke programmes and apprenticeships, the group is well positioned to cater directly to the needs of employers. But Gary said: “Businesses often don’t realise the training services that are available right here on their doorstep.

“We have a wide range of commercial programmes, from health and safety, leadership and management through to more specialist engineering courses.

“Also, we offer a wide range of apprenticeships. We can work with employers to understand exactly what they need and what will suit the business, which can mean taking into account aspects such as availability and shift patterns.”

He added: “It starts for us with a conversation with the employer, to talk through what their needs are, both now and in the future, to then identify training that would have a positive impact in their business and then developing solutions together.”

The Tees Valley Logistics Academy is a prime example of this approach, a development created with key local employers to raise awareness of logistics and help meet training needs within the sector.

Gary said: “For us, it is not just about the numbers, we strive to make an impact in our local communities. We recognise that it is only through engaging with the people, the local and combined authorities and businesses that we will effectively meet everybody’s training needs.

“We fully believe that our partnership approach results in the maximum impact and benefit for everyone involved.”

Stockton Riverside College Group is the result of its own transformational partnership, encompassing Stockton Riverside College, Redcar & Cleveland College, Bede Sixth Form, NETA Training and The Skills Academy. To find out more about the full range of commercial training options available, contact the Business Development Team by emailing or call 01642 865581.

  • Above: Redcar & Cleveland College’s group head of commercial development Graeme Wood (front) with Grangetown Training and Employment Hub’s Gill Sutherland, Altrad Services’ head of workforce development Matthew Oates and the college’s pre-employment tutor Terry Watson.


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