Tees Valley colleges scoop £3m skills funding boost

Colleges and training providers across the Tees Valley have come together to secure £2.955m funding to help meet local training and skills needs, and help get people into work.

The investment from the Department for Education Strategic Development Fund will see the establishment of new facilities and the development and delivery of new training programmes, with each provider focusing on projects to cater for specific sector demands and plug emerging skills gaps.

Etc. - Gary Potts

Leading the initial bid for the Tees Valley colleges, group vice principal for business, innovation and partnerships at the Education Training Collective (Etc.), Gary Potts said: “This is further evidence of the clear and demonstrable impact we can have on the Tees Valley when the colleges and training providers across the region work together.

“Our collaborative efforts will see us servicing the needs of local employers and supporting people with the skills and training they need to access local jobs.”

The funding pot has been divided between Darlington College, Hartlepool College of Further Education, Learning Curve Group, Middlesbrough College Group, NETA Training, Redcar and Cleveland College and Stockton Riverside College.

Introduced as part of the DfE’s Skills for Jobs white paper, the Strategic Development Fund encourages colleges and training providers to work together, alongside employers and other partners, to respond to local skills priorities.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “It’s great to see that our colleges have worked together to secure this funding. This cash will target the sectors that need it the most and help create a skilled workforce ready to secure the good-quality, well paid jobs we’re creating across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

The investment will see Darlington College focus on professional business services and advanced manufacturing, Hartlepool College of Further Education, on construction and civil engineering; Learning Curve Group, digital, Middlesbrough College will focus on engineering and NETA Training on scaffolding, rigging and lifting.

Redcar and Cleveland College will develop sector skills in clean energy technologies and decommissioning, and Stockton Riverside College further developing logistics, shipping and rail. The fund will also enable further investment in boosting the delivery of the highly successful Teesworks Skills Academy.

Etc. vice principal Gary said: “The funds will be spent on premises, facilities, equipment and the development of new programmes of study, all to support key Tees Valley sectors, the roles available within those sectors and the skills and training needed to support them.

“This is about building skills for the immediate and short term, as well as building capacity for the longer term.”