Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Working with Business to Deliver Skilled People

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Working with Business to Deliver Skilled People

Article excerpt

Byline: Judith Doyle Gateshead College Principal and CEO

APPRENTICESHIPS are the backbone of our skills-based economy, creating worthwhile career opportunities that allow employers to build a flexible, and motivated workforce.

At Gateshead College, we're proud to be at the forefront of making sure that our North East business community has access to the skilled workforce they need and that young people have clear pathways to successful careers.

We deliver more than 2000 apprenticeships each year to many employers across a wide range of sectors, including advanced manufacturing, construction, engineering, hospitality, logistics, automotive and hair and beauty, as well as tech and digital industries.

Beneficiaries range from some of the region's big hitters such as car giant Nissan and transport operator Go North East to creative, digital companies and other SMEs that require an injection of skills to take their businesses forward.

With stretching Government targets around apprenticeships we must ensure that it doesn't result in quantity over quality. Our consistently high standard of delivery was recognised by Ofsted when they graded us outstanding in our June inspection, making us the only FE college in the country to receive outstanding in the last 12 months. Equally important is our ability to engage employers in apprenticeship programmes which has resulted in us securing around half a million pounds in extra funding from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), opening up even more opportunities for students and employers.

It is essential to work with businesses to develop bespoke solutions to the particular challenges they are facing and we have a strong record of doing this. Recently our work with G4S Utilities and Energy & Utility Skills has enabled us to develop a new dual fuel smart meter apprenticeship, known as a Trailblazer Apprenticeship, which sets out new employer-led standards for jobs in this sector. …

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