A scheme to help local people take advantage of job opportunities at the Teesworks site has received applications from more than 1,000 local people since it was established just six months ago.
The Teesworks Skills Academy was launched by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen so that people across the region have the skills needed to take advantage of the huge amount of jobs being created through the redevelopment of the Teesworks site. As well as providing training the Academy, led by the Education Training Collective (Etc.), links students with employers who are recruiting across the 4,500-acre site.
Since its launch the academy has proven hugely popular receiving around 3,000 enquiries, this has led to more than 1,000 people registering with their CVs and almost 200 people undergoing training. It has connected with a number of organisations including job centres, charities and businesses on-site to help get people into work.
The first people to progress through the academy are now entering new roles, such as Jordan Taylor, 30, from Redcar. Jordan registered with the scheme in April and completed a Routeway to Scaffolding Course at Neta Training Group. Through that course he achieved six qualifications and he is now working for Middlesbrough’s J Gunn Scaffolding. Working with Redcar & Cleveland Training and Employment Hub, he was also provided with a bike and train pass to help him get to work.
Andrew and Bradley were also supported by Teesworks Skills Academy, becoming the first recruits for a new Industrial Training course developed by Redcar and Cleveland College in collaboration with WSG Industrial Services. As a result, WSG was able to take on both Andrew and Bradley as the firm grows.
Mayor Houchen said: “These success stories are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the work being done now by Teesworks Skills Academy to support our local people into good-quality, well-paid jobs and give them the expertise they need to progress in their chosen careers.
“As we ramp up work to clear the site, there is going to be even more opportunity to connect people with the companies based on site over the next 12 months. That’s saying nothing about the vast long-term projects, such as GE Renewable Energy’s wind turbine manufacturing facility, which will support 2,250 jobs in construction alone, with the same number of direct and indirect jobs when it’s up and running.
“This is also a great example of how we’re doing things differently, playing to our strengths and working with brilliant colleges, training providers and companies to getting people into work. As we’ve seen with cooperation in our fantastic Routes to Work and Wheels 2 Work schemes, this joined-up thinking is making a real, immediate difference to people’s lives and livelihoods.”
Jordan said: “I’ve worked all my life so when I found myself unemployed, I wanted to get straight back into a job. It only took a few weeks from me signing up to the Skills Academy to be placed onto a training course so I could gain some new qualifications and get another job.
“The whole process was spot-on – it was easy, friendly and fast. Anyone looking for work or wanting to learn new things should definitely sign up – I’ve already sent two people I know to the Academy.”
This week, Mayor Houchen announced that the demolition of all major steelmaking facilities at the former Redcar Steelworks would be demolished within a year. This will prepare the land to pave the way for even more investment and businesses joining the site, bringing with them jobs for local people engaged with the Academy.
Gary Potts, Group Vice Principal: Business, Innovation and Partnership, from the Etc., said: “The Teesworks Skills Academy is all about upskilling local people so they are ready to access the high quality, local jobs on the Teesworks site – supporting local people in securing positive, sustained futures. This really fits with the ethos of the Etc., it’s a great initiative to be involved with and through our collaboration with the other delivery partners, we are really playing to our strengths as a team of people-focused institutions.”
Graeme Wood, Teesworks Skills Academy Manager, said: “The Teesworks Skills Academy has really gathered pace quite quickly, we knew the demand was there from both individuals and business, but to get to this point so quickly is excellent. There is still much to do and there are so many future skills and job opportunities coming up, that it really is worth signing up and keeping an eye out for updates.”
Etc., which includes Stockton Riverside and Redcar and Cleveland colleges, has been joined by Darlington, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool FE Colleges and Teesside University and the Learning Curve Group to help deliver the academy, alongside Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.
Anyone who is interested in learning new skills or enhancing existing ones, or would like to know more about job opportunities on the Teesworks site should visit www.teesworksskillsacademy.co.uk