Teesside could be on track to benefit from thousands of construction and engineering jobs created by HS2.
Following government approval of the “game-changing” rail project, the Construction Industry Training Board has said thousands of new jobs will be created in the next two years.
And Middlesbrough College has invested in construction and engineering skills training to help hundreds of Teessiders to take advantage of the opportunities.
At its industry-leading campus, complete with its £20m STEM training centre, hundreds of students are already getting the hands-on experience they need to excel in well paid careers in civil engineering, electrical engineering, construction management and more.
Zoe Lewis is principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College Group – which encompasses Middlesbrough College, Northern Skills Group and TTE Technical UK.
She said: “We’re investing in the training facilities and course provision to make sure we’re offering a solution to the challenges the construction industry faces.
“We’re also building the skills needed to fulfil some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects like HS2.
“We want people to know they can access industry-leading training here on Teesside – and we’ll continue to build on that reputation, providing skills and opportunities to benefit learners, workers and employees.”
Train builder Hitachi – with its factory at nearby Newton Aycliffe – has welcomed the HS2 announcement, as it plans to submit a joint bid with Bombardier to build 54 trains.
If successful, it could generate further engineering jobs.
Mike Emery, associate director of construction at Middlesbrough College, said: “We’re committed to helping construction and engineering employers access the high quality skills their workforce needs – and HS2 is a huge opportunity for Teesside which will be supported by Middlesbrough College.
“With industry leading facilities and expert tutors, many from industry backgrounds, we’re attracting ambitious learners from all over the North East and are seeing huge growth in student recruitment across our construction and engineering projects.
“Since acquiring TTE, we’re now training more than 750 engineering and construction apprentices – which demonstrates just how much of an impact the skills that are being engineered on Teesside will have on industry.
“We’re proud to be continuing to invest in our facilities and extending our course provision into areas such as civil engineering to meet industry demands.”
And bright spark students are already building exciting careers in the region and beyond through apprenticeships with well-known companies such as Hitachi Rail, Elring Klinger, Labman, Persimmon Homes and Tolent Construction.
Taking the industry by storm, the College’s apprentices have been putting Middlesbrough on the map at a series of regional competitions across the North.
19-year-old electrical apprentice Georgia Owens won the SPARKS ‘Regional Apprentice of the Year’ competition while 20-year-old plumbing apprentice Sam Scott scooped the hotly-contested HIP Regional Apprentice of the Year award.
With a unique offering in the region, Middlesbrough College delivers courses from every occupational sector and at every level – from Level 1 to Level 6 Degree Level, as well as HNC and HND courses.
Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Diplomas (HNDs) are vocationally orientated qualifications specifically designed to provide practical, industry related skills to both College leavers and those already working in a job who require new skills.
Building on its Good Ofsted rating and TEF Gold success – a teaching excellence framework (TEF) that assesses the quality of teaching in universities in England – the College was also selected as the only Tees Valley IoT and T Level provider.
The new T Level qualifications have been developed with employers to equip learners with the skills they need to enter the world of work – and the College’s pilot programme was a huge success.
Mike added: “As the only College in the Tees Valley selected to pilot T Levels, we’re leading the way when it comes to new delivery methods, and are working closely with employers in the region to ensure our students are set up to succeed in top industry jobs.”