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Key Teesside employer says it’s time to go technical

21 Jun 2021
STEM Centre exterior

Technical skills will underpin Teesside’s future, and now is the time to invest in them.

That’s the message from local employer Jacobs, a nuclear plant contractor that knows the value of training.  

Jacobs has been working with Northern Skills – the training and apprenticeship arm of Middlesbrough College – 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 technical skills and experience that are needed to keep up with the 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.”

Business is booming on Tees Valley, with the new Freeport, the Teesworks development and the ever-expanding Teesside International Airport – but how will we match the need for new, highly skilled, highly technical jobs of the future?

Here’s how…

Middlesbrough College has been chosen by the Department of Education as a partner in the North East Institute of Technology (NEIoT) which will bring high-level technical education benefitting both learners and local businesses.

So, what is an IoT?

Institutes of Technology (IoT) are collaborations between further education providers, universities recognised for their outstanding technical training, and employers. Middlesbrough College will be the sole deliverer of IoT accredited courses in the Tees Valley, across disciplines such as construction, engineering, business management and digital.

The new state-of-the-art technical centre will be paramount to meeting the growing need for highly skilled jobs on Tees Valley and the courses are designed to address the skills shortage across multiple industries.

With a focus on hands-on experience, the College’s courses are developed with driving innovation in mind, to ensure students are at the forefront of the latest learning and technology.

Neil completed his own apprenticeship more than 40 years ago and said it’s crucial for young learners to improve on technical skills – the new IoT centre at Middlesbrough College being the perfect place to do so.

He continued: “It’s a chance to train up people into highly skilled jobs which benefits local people, businesses and the economy in our region.

“Industry on Teesside is really on the up, young learners now need the digital and technical skills to meet the growing demand in the future. A technical centre being opened of this stature, something in this area and brand new – it’s great for our region.”

To explore the range of courses on offer or to find out how your business could benefit from the IoT, call 01642 333333.For more information on the Institute of Technology, visit

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