NEWS of the National Skills Academy for the Process Industries has been welcomed by business, education and training leaders across the region.
Chris Roberts, regional director of the Learning and Skills Council North East, said: “The sector is facing a real challenge to maintain the considerable economic contribution it makes to the region with almost a quarter of workers employed in the North-east process industry qualified below Level 2. The National Skills Academy will help to tackle the current skills shortage and support the future skills needs of this growth industry that, in the North-east, contributes £8.8bn to the region’s economy.”
Nationally the LSC is investing more than £90m in the National Skills Academy network.
“By working in partnership with Government and the industry we will aim to give extra impetus to the training of process industry personnel,” he added.
Regional development agency One NorthEast is supporting the National Skills Academy Process Industries with £1.3m of funding over three years.
Gillian Collinson, the regional development agency’s skills and higher education manager, said, “The process industries are a pillar of the North-east economy and play a major part in creating the new jobs and businesses that the region needs to achieve in the ambitious targets of the Regional Economic Strategy.
“The National Skills Academy Process Industries will play a vital role in addressing the impending skills shortage.”
The Teesside-based TTE Technical Training Group has worked alongside the academy’s project team and contributed to the development of its business plan.
Keith Hunter, managing director, said: “Employers in the process industries across the UK are keen to ensure the workforce of tomorrow is both safe and skilled to the very highest level.
“Locating the hub of the National Skills Academy in the North-east demonstrates the drive and ability this region has.”
Paul Booth, president of SABIC UK Petrochemicals, said: “SABIC had no hesitation whatsoever in making a substantial financial contribution towards the setting up of the academy. We look forward very much to working with the academy and we are confident we can make a major contribution to upskilling our own workforce.”