A college is working with businesses to ensure potential staff get the best training.
Northumberland College is aiming to deliver what employers want through its science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) provision after so far investing £14m in industry-focused facilities, with more investment to come.
College bosses have spent £2.5m on a purpose-built STEM centre at its Ashington campus, while its Blyth facility has strengthened its dedicated offshore and commercial training support, solely focusing on the renewable energy sector.
Hundreds of vocational and academic courses are being delivered across seven sites regionally, including Ashington, Kirkley Hall, Berwick, Hexham and Newcastle.
Gordon Crombie, head of the STEM Academy at Northumberland College, said: “We’re now teaching and delivering courses in very different ways to place our students at the heart of industry and integrate the skills that employers are searching for into many of our learning programmes.
“By linking the curriculum to the local business landscape, we can work very much in sync with regional employers, often in diverse, traditional or rural industries, to identify the skills they require both now and in the future, as well as deliver what young people say they need.
“Engagement on all levels is crucial. Having implemented a new approach to learning, we’d like to tell local organisations that we’re very much interested in creating new partnerships and are looking for partner companies to explore new opportunities.
“There are many successful businesses on our doorstep that could benefit from a collaborative approach to skills development. If the college can become a facilitator and bring employers closer to education, we can arm students with the right industry tools to maximise their employability and skills levels.”
Northumberland College’s STEM Academy liaises closely with enterprise partners to provide apprenticeship and diploma opportunities.
Advanced STEM facilities, especially in the areas of engineering, robotics and digital technologies such as creative media, also support the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to deliver over a million jobs by 2024.
For more details on STEM courses or business opportunities contact 01670 841200 or visit the website at www.northumberland.ac.uk