New partnership creating connectivity to new jobs

Three Tees Valley companies have come together to train and develop the workforce for the ever-expanding digital telecoms sector.

Hartlepool College of Further Education and their skills partners, Seymour Civil Engineering have joined forces with Tees Valley’s Digital Telecoms Network Academy (DTNA) to provide outstanding training opportunities in one of the country’s fastest growing jobs markets.

It is a move that has received the full backing from Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

Supported by funding from the Tees Valley Combined Authority this free training aims to train residents in the area to develop the essential skills for a multitude of roles across the sector.

The college and Seymour Civil Engineering cemented their partnership in 2019 with the launch of the Seymour Skills Academy.

The 11-acre academy, based in Hartlepool, trains young people, adults and apprentices that are new to or developing within the construction industry.

It has been this expertise and that of DTNA that has created the perfect match.

Roy Fraser, business development director of DTNA, said: “The work going on at the Seymour Skills Academy is fantastic, real exemplary practice across their sector.

“We can all see how that work alongside the expertise we have developed at our Stockton site can provide all the knowledge, skills and behaviours that our sector needs.”

The newly-formed programmes are delivered across the Seymour Skills Academy in Hartlepool and the DTNA site in Stockton, dependent on career route.

Roy added: “With the pooling of our expertise we now have routes to be a Telecoms engineer or a Telecoms Construction operative, in fact learners can move across the programmes dependent on the jobs available.

“This has vastly increased the future job roles we can help fulfil in this in-demand sector.”

One of the major employers for these future roles is City Fibre. In July, City Fibre the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, announced a three-year recruitment and training programme to provide up to 10,000 people with jobs upgrading the UK’s digital infrastructure to full fibre.

More recently, City Fibre announced their intent locally with the plans to invest over £42m in replacing Middlesbrough’s copper networks with gigabit-capable full fibre optic connectivity.

The partnership aims to train over 100 learners in the next six months with the emphasis on providing career opportunities for Tees Valley residents.

Darren Hankey, principal and chief executive of Hartlepool College, added: “We are really excited about our new partnership with DTNA, it’s clear to see how this can build upon and complement the excellent work we do with Seymour.

“However, this couldn’t happen without the support of Tees Valley Combined Authority. Their flexibility in changing the Adult Education budget has allowed us to provide the qualifications that employers want and need.”

Tees Valley mayor Mr Houchen said: “The engineering and telecoms skills needed to connect people and businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are in huge demand.

“Growing this sector, which has one of the fastest growing jobs markets, is an important part of my plan for jobs, a plan that is delivering good-quality well paid jobs for local people.

“It’s fantastic to see Hartlepool College, DTNA and Seymour come together to give people these much sought-after skills and training they need to succeed in the hugely important sector.

“Digital connectivity is at the heart of our longer-term plans to grow our economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re already working with Seymour at the Teesworks site where they are also delivering vital construction jobs for local people, which is what is needed now.”

  • Pictured above (left to right): Seymour Civil Engineering Training Academy manager Donna King, managing director Adam Harker, Tees mayor Ben Houchen, Hartlepool College chief exec Darren Hankey, MAP Group CEO Mike Carlin and DTN Academy business and quality director Roy Fraser.