Colleges across the Tees Valley have received a multi-million-pound boost for skills – with green industries front and centre.
The Department for Education has granted £2.5million of funding to Darlington College, The Education Training Collective, Middlesbrough College, Hartlepool College of Further Education, the Learning Curve Group Limited, and the City of Sunderland College.
It’s part of a wider drive to boost skills in green jobs as well as in digital, construction and manufacturing sectors.
The funding will also make sure more people can access Higher Technical Qualifications – which sit between A level, T levels and degrees – to gain in demand skills including digital, health care and engineering as an alternative to a traditional three-year degree.
It comes on the heels of Green Careers Week last week.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We are well and truly the beating heart of the UK’s green industry and push to Net Zero. We’ve the huge Net Zero Teesside project on its way, SeAH Wind under construction and huge potential for a hydrogen revolution right on our doorstep.
“We need young people in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to have the skills, knowhow and experience to take on the thousands of jobs which are coming through these game changing projects. We also need them to safeguard our world-leading chemical sector – and lead the way in ensuring our people are healthy, happy and cared for.
“It’s great to see more money released to help this along – and I hope it will be focussed into the areas where our region needs it most.”
Higher Technical Qualifications are designed with employers in a bid to equip students with the skills they need to go onto further study, or straight into a good job.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said:“This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills and ultimately futureproofing our economy and the career prospects of the next generation.
“Our local skills projects will bring together regional organisations, businesses and education providers to respond to the specific needs of employers, building an increasingly skilled workforce and growing local economies.
“Whether it is green skills, construction, engineering or digital, thousands more people can now gain the skills they need to secure good jobs closer to home. These are long-term plans that will ensure every area can have a brighter future.”
Jane Gratton, Deputy Director of Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, added: “Businesses are crying out for more people with technical skills to fill the great jobs we have today and new ones in the developing green economy.
“It’s vital that everyone can access the training they need locally to grasp these opportunities.”