Staff and students from The Technical Academy celebrate the centre's fifth birthday

Specialist Construction & Engineering Training Centre Is Five & Thriving

It was high fives all round as The Technical Academy turned five this month.

The state-of-the-art education facility, training the region’s next generation of engineers, manufacturers and construction trade workers, celebrated five years in business in June.

The Technical Academy, part of East Durham College, based in Peterlee, took over a disused industrial unit on the town’s South West Industrial Estate in June 2010; with the facility quickly opening in September of that year and going on to successfully train 100s of young people.

Since then there has been continued significant investment in the Centre which offers training, primarily for 16 to 18 year-olds, in a number of areas including welding, plumbing, engineering, manufacturing, automotive maintenance, gas and heating, electrical installation and other construction-based disciplines.

Developed to specifically meet the needs of local employers, the Academy gives young people the hands on experience needed to be industry-ready and also the classroom learning to get them to the level required to fully qualify in their chosen vocation.

An important part of the Academy’s success has been the excellent links and partnerships it’s created with industry, including the likes of Baxi, CTD Tiles, Esh, Eagle Welding, Grundfos, Megger, Miller, Terraclean and Wates.

Rob Hutchinson, Centre Manager at The Technical Academy, said: “The last five years have been fantastic. We've recently re-developed the building to improve the facilities on offer and we've also expanded the curriculum to make sure we're ideally placed to meet the employment needs of businesses in the area.

“There's a real commitment from everyone involved here to attract high calibre students, young people who want to learn and push themselves so at the end of their time with us they are ready to work in industry, contributing from day one.”

Speaking at the Centres re-launch in December 2014, following a significant make-over and the changes to the curriculum offer, Geoff Ford MBE , Chairman of South Tyneside manufacturing company Ford Aerospace, said: “It's vital that we invest in young people now to help address the skills gap which is evident across the North East.

“There are a number of challenges we must overcome if we're to firmly establish our region as a global leader; and ensuring we have talented people coming through to replace experience is certainly one of them. I congratulate The Technical Academy for recognising and helping in this challenge.”

For more information on training at the Academy, please visit eastdurham.ac.uk or to get your business involved call Rob Hutchinson on 0191 518 5577 or Emma Norbury, Business Development Advisor, on 0191 518 5587.