The North East must embrace apprenticeships for the benefit of our regional economy

The North East must embrace apprenticeships for the benefit of our regional economy

Posted On 12th March 2018 By Mark Coulthard

Newcastle College has a rich history in developing the skills of individuals across a diverse range of industries. Key to the success of its programmes is the work undertaken with employers to ensure that qualifications are fit-for-purpose and in line with industry demand.

Changes in the regions skills emphasis and economic landscape mean that more than ever, the College must remain in constant dialogue with employers to keep ahead of developments, adapting its curriculum accordingly.

A key area of focus for Newcastle College is that of apprenticeships. With recent changes in apprenticeship reforms the College has had to work closely with industry to dispel the myths and misconceptions that still exist around this training route.

At the helm of the College’s apprenticeship operations is Marc McPake, Director of Business Partnerships. He said: “The North East has always been a champion of apprenticeships, but over the past few years with the changes in reforms we’ve identified that not all employers are aware of the ways in which they can integrate successful apprenticeship programmes into their business.

“Gone are the days when apprenticeships were just suited for those leaving school. Now employers can embed these programmes into their training strategies to not only recruit new members of their team but to also upskill even the most experienced leaders.”

The College is one of only a small handful in the country that can validate its own degree programmes, meaning it can create qualifications with industry in line with demand.
These unique awarding powers have allowed Newcastle College to adapt its apprenticeship offer accordingly. Last year they launched a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, aimed at those in managerial positions who don’t hold a degree level qualification.

With further plans to launch a Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship, equivalent to Masters Level, later this year, Mr McPake believes that there is a vast amount of opportunities available for local businesses to ensure that the region meets its target of 100,000 new jobs set by the North East LEP. He said: “As a college we’re aligning ourselves to LEP priorities, acting as the facilitator between business and skills development.

“Our job as an education and skills provider is to bridge this gap and provide expertise on how an organisation can maximise their training opportunities. Our approach is not centred on what we offer, but how we can provide solutions based on the challenge a business faces.

“We work with an exceptional number of employers across all sectors and have a wealth of expertise we can call upon when addressing a particular challenge. Our dedicated team are here to help maximise these opportunities through collaborative working.”

The College welcomes all businesses, regardless of size and industry to put forward their training challenges. Call 0191 200 4757 or email to speak to a member of the team.