Skip to content

Business & Economy

Invest in skills for long term recovery, urges Northern Skills Group

Now is the time to invest in skills to fuel a long term, sustainable recovery in the North East.

That’s the message from Northern Skills Group – the apprenticeship training arm of Middlesbrough College Group – which is helping employers take advantage of grants and support for hiring apprentices.

As the regional economy begins to rebound from the impact of COVID, Northern Skills Group’s expert team is working with employers to build skills that help them capitalise on emerging opportunities and face future challenges.

The timing couldn’t be better to focus on skills building – with learners leaving school this summer and talented young people entering the workforce.

Jacobs, a nuclear plant contractor with sites in Stockton and Gateshead, has been working with Northern Skills Group to provide apprenticeships for learners.

Neil Fowler, quality control manager at Jacobs, said: “Apprenticeships are massively important for local businesses because it’s a win-win situation – young people get industry experience, while businesses can mould learners to suit the needs of the company.

“Without a solid stream of hands-on skill building in the region we won’t have the level of skills and experience that are needed to keep up with the growing demand.

“Certainly, in an industry-based environment like we have in the North East – it’s crucial we have a really substantial apprenticeship provision in this area. As a region, we won’t be able to progress without it.”

Employers can claim £3,000 for apprentices who start before September 30, 2021 and if firms do not need to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, they only pay 5 per cent towards the cost of training and assessing apprentices, with the government covering the rest.

Peter Donnelly, business development and commercial manager at Northern Skills Group, said: “The team at Jacobs know that they can come to us for apprentices who are workplace ready and can hit the ground running.

“This type of skill building – from the ground-up – can really benefit all parties as it adapts training to the needs of the business and builds loyalty amongst young staff.

“We’re already helping many local businesses find the right apprentices through our free recruitment service.

“And with the funding opportunities available, now is a great time for employers to bring new talent into their business. Our team are always on hand to offer advice or support to any employers interested in finding out more.”

Middlesbrough College works with Northern Skills Group to deliver more than 100 types of programmes to around 2,700 apprentices across the North East and Yorkshire.

For more information visit: