HUNDREDS of businesses, schools and colleges have pledged their support to a new company launched to address the region’s manufacturing skills gap.
Go Ahead Training has unveiled its plans to bridge the gap between educational facilities and employers within the manufacturing sector.
School children, college students, teachers, local authority representatives and business leaders turned out at The Workplace in Newton Aycliffe to hear from Managing Director Dave Spensley, who wants to ensure companies in the North East have a deep talent pool to access.
They also got to test an 80-metre F1 racing track and VEX IQ robots as part of Go Ahead’s drive to engage young people and show them that careers within manufacturing and engineering can be exciting and fun, as well as financially rewarding.
Dave Spensley said: “It’s fantastic to have the support of so many people who believe our plans are exactly what is needed to ensure we can capitalise on our strengths within manufacturing and engineering.
“The young people who attended the launch had so much fun trying out the racing track and robots and that’s what this is all about – helping them see how rewarding these industries can be and that with the right attitude they could secure a career for life with real progression opportunities.
“Go Ahead Training will act as the middle man between schools and colleges and industry, so we can ensure we’re equipping young people with the skills and attitudes needed to work within the sectors.”
Go Ahead Training will initially work with schools and colleges within the County Durham and Teesside areas and has six main programmes of delivery:
- Primary Engineers
- Secondary Engineers
- The Opportunity Programme (NEET prevention)
- The F1 Challenge
- VEX IQ Robotics
- Enterprise Programme
Dave Spensley added: “Employers are crying out for talented young people who can come into their business and grow. Our manufacturing and engineering sectors do have an ageing workforce so its vital that if they’re to continue to grow they have readymade replacements for those workers who reach retirement age.
“We are confident Go Ahead Training is exactly what the region needs and will become the ‘go to’ organisation for employers who want to attract young people who they can train and invest in as the engineers and manufacturers of the future.”
Go Ahead Training employs three members of staff, with plans to add to the team over the coming months.
Tony Swanwick, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassador and former engineer who worked for GEC Telecom and BAE Systems, said: “By providing training programmes that present technical problems in an interesting and challenging way, Go Ahead Training will inspire the young students of today, giving them the skills, motivation, insight and confidence they need to become the leading engineers of tomorrow.
“It is essential to attract students at a young age, by opening their eyes to the many rewarding career opportunities that stand before them. These foundation courses will be strongly linked to many practical problems that exist in the world today, with the training being supported by real engineers who can offer advice and explain the breadth of opportunities a career in engineering can deliver, whilst relating to their own wealth experiences.”
RTC North, one of Europe’s leading technology transfer companies, is working with Go Ahead Training to deliver engineering programmes to schools on Teesside.
Carol Harrison, STEM Contract Manager, said: “Thousands of young people from the North East leave school, college and university every year with absolutely no direction in life. They are not aware of the global opportunities North East organisations can offer them if the study STEM subjects at higher levels. Go Ahead training will provide a platform where education and industry can come together so that both sides will be better informed.”
To find out more about Go Ahead Training visit www.goahead.training