College Creates a Training Milestone

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Byline: By Rebekah Ashby

Northumberland College's construction department is celebrating the successful roll-out of its training pilot across the region.

The eQ8 programme, which expanded to include the whole of the North-East last September, has taken on 13 new staff to cope with demand.

And the college says interest from local companies means it has already met its initial targets.

It currently has 138 employees enrolled on the programme and has taken on eight full-time assessors, four part-time consultants and one full-time co-ordinator to run it.

eQ8 is designed to encourage construction businesses to train staff over the age of 19 up to NVQ level 2 standard and allows employees to gain essential qualifications in literacy and numeracy.

The scheme, which is funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), offers wage compensation to reimburse employers for the cost of releasing employees during normal working hours.

Project manager Ken Harbron said: "We are surprised and thrilled at the response from industry, who have encouraged their employees to take up the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification. …