South Shields gets UK’s first ‘Career College’ to help teenagers into hi-tech careers

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SOUTH Tyneside is to get the country’s first Career College specialising in advanced engineering and computer science.

The new vocational education initiative is due to open at South Tyneside College – aimed at training the next generation of skilled manufacturing engineers and computer specialists

Targeted at 14 to 19-year-olds, the vocational education scheme is also the first in the country to be run in conjunction with a school - St Wilfrid’s RC College in South Shields - and is due to open next September.

The South Tyneside project – Career College North East - is backed by local and national employers in the region, including Ford Aerospace, Nine and Zenith Recruitment.

Alison Maynard, principal of South Tyneside Professional and Vocational College, said: “Career College North East will uniquely bring together enterprise, business and education into one highly focused vocational pathway.

“With it will come great benefits to pupils who are clear about their future career direction. They will gain access to the advanced training that will help them succeed.

St Wilfrids College Key Stage 4 tables. Headteacher Brendan Tapping

St Wilfrids College Key Stage 4 tables. Headteacher Brendan Tapping

“Jobs are being created in the North East through initiatives such as the City Deal and the Career College will play an important part in ensuring there are enough young people with the right skills to fill jobs such as those.”

Brendan Tapping, headteacher of St Wilfrid’s RC College, said: “The Career College is a highly innovative and truly ground breaking initiative that meets the needs of those at age 14 and above who have a desire to pursue a career in engineering, advanced manufacturing or computer science.

“By mixing their academic classroom studies with skilled vocational training, they will have the best possible opportunity to gain the professional competence they need to fulfil their work ambitions.”

Geoff Ford MBE, chairman of South Shields-based Ford Aerospace Limited and Ford Component Manufacturing Limited, said: “I am very passionate about opportunities being created for young people to enter engineering and manufacturing, and it is great to see two such excellent educational establishments coming together in this way.”

South Tyneside College

South Tyneside College

The move has been given the go-ahead by the Career Colleges Trust (CCT)

CCT chairman, Luke Johnson, said: “South Tyneside College has put forward a strong proposal.

“The advanced manufacturing and engineering industry in South Tyneside and the North East is growing. Career College North East will help ensure that any future skills gaps are filled and the area can continue to prosper.

“The partnerships with both an outstanding local school and key employers will ensure high quality provision in the core subject areas, along with relevant vocational training. This is exactly what Career Colleges are about and I support this concept wholeheartedly.

“I am confident, that together with its partners, it will deliver outstanding, rounded education for its students.”

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