South Tyneside College offers quick-fire course for teenagers to build up construction trade skills

Hard-to-reach South Tyneside teenagers are being urged to join a new quick-fire construction skills programme – and to transform their lives in just 18 weeks.

The quick-fire course aims to impart trade skills in areas such as bricklaying, plastering, joinery, paving and plumbing and was launched in the borough last month.

Those who have enrolled are previously not in education, employment or training (NEET) – and more are being sought.

TRN (Train) Ltd, a training firm which sits alongside South Tyneside College as one of Tyne Coast College’s participating partner brands, has recruited through partners including job centres in South Tyneside and advice service Connexions, in Ocean Road, South Shields.

Nick Seton-Rogers (right), head of partnerships and joint ventures at TRN (Train) Ltd, with other members of the organisation

The firm is also working with the South Tyneside Training Provider Network, an amalgamation of various charities, to get more youngsters on board.

The programme can transport trainees from the dole queue to the verge of highly-skilled professions, armed with a new recognised qualification.

Most of the current 48 learners are expected to move into employment as full-time apprentices or to progress into other higher-level training and skills schemes.

Mo Dixon, Principal at South Tyneside College and Tyne Metropolitan College, in North Tyneside, said of the programme: “This is an exciting partnership that is already bearing fruit by the high number of recruits.

Nick Seton-Rogers, head of partnerships and joint ventures at TRN (Train) Ltd

“Several young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Tyneside have seized this new skills’ learning opportunity.

“Construction is a key sector but one which suffers from a dramatic skills’ gap that is hindering the North East’s economic growth.

“This programme, matched by the ambitions and talents of its learners, can play an important part in the region’s future economic growth and success.”

Nick Seton-Rogers, Head of Partnerships and Joint Ventures at TRN (Train) Ltd, commented: “Our goal for South Tyneside is simple – to get young people who have zero experience of employment into work or an apprenticeship.

“We want to provide them with the skills that allow them to quickly enter the workplace and to become positive contributors to society.

“School is not for everyone, and these are youngsters who in many cases have not been given the opportunity to find what is the right path to learning for them, but who want to learn and get on in life.

“We deliver skills but also work with them to help them focus on the path they are taking, the opportunity that is available to them, and where they could be in a few years with a little dedication and hard work.

“We are here to help them every step of the way on their journey to a better future.”

The Construction Skills Level 1 Diploma programme runs at TRN (Train) Ltd’s skills centre at Bensham Trading Estate, in Lobley Hill Road, Gateshead.

Participants test themselves in all disciplines, before selecting a specific trade they wish to pursue full-time.

Aside from having their transport fees are paid, participants are given a free £5 daily meal voucher and are supplied with a free successful progression tool kit.

More information on joining the programme can be obtained at: [email protected]

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