North East firms band together to tackle skills gap

Education | Employment & Skills | Manufacturing | North East
Gateshead College
(L to R): Apprentices Liam Rowden and Matthew Reilly with Gateshead College tutor Anthony Jeff


A group of fifteen North East firms have pledged their support for an engineering training academy.

The Ford Engineering Academy, developed with Gateshead College, aims to tackle skills shortages and boost the region’s manufacturing and engineering workforces.

The companies will provide placements for students of the Academy – and some will offer apprenticeships for talented individuals who stand out.

Chris Ford, managing director of Ford Engineering, said: “Our Ford Engineering Academy has attracted the interest from some amazing businesses that all realise the really significant input they can have in shaping their future workforce.

“We have had some amazing young people through the academy already who have gone on to secure apprenticeships. Having more businesses offer work placement opportunities will only add to the experience for our learners.”

Students spend a year at Gateshead College’s Skills Academy for Automotive and Engineering, learning the core skills for key engineering tasks such as preparing and using milling machines and lathes and producing mechanical engineering drawings using computer-aided design (CAD) technology. They also study English and maths and learn about health and safety and work preparation methods.

The fifteen companies are Adient, Baker Hughes, Beamish, Cummins, Dyer Engineering, EDM Zone, Ford Engineering, Graphic Packaging International, Kavli, Liebherr, National Oilwell Varco, Towne Lifting and Testing, Tyneside Safety Glass, Tyneside Standards and Unipres.

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