Newcastle City Council backs IT Apprentice Hub with state-of-the-art facilities

Initiative designed to narrow skills gap in the sector is entirely government-funded and comes at no cost to students

Rising Stars students with trainer Michael Carrick
Rising Stars students with trainer Michael Carrick

Newcastle City Council has agreed to support the UK’s first IT apprentice hub by providing training facilities for students.

Spearheaded by regional employer network Dynamo North East, in partnership with training company Baltic Training Services, the initiative is aimed at closing the skills gap in the North East’s IT sector.

Having already been piloted at Quorum Business Park, it will see students take part in a 15-week programme known as Rising Stars, which offers an intensive skills training course with technical content.

The region is the first in the country to attempt this type of approach in IT and, if successful, it could be rolled out across the UK.

Now, the hub has received the backing of Newcastle City Council, which will open up Newcastle City Learning Centre to provide state-of-the-art IT facilities and expertise for the project.

Council chief executive Pat Richie said: “Our education division is working hard to maximise the council’s resources in order to nurture the talent in the young people of Newcastle and the wider region.

“The IT Hub, which has been developed with a specific need in mind, in terms of the region’s IT skills gap, is a fantastic way to harness this young talent. It will provide a launch pad, with the help of our facilities at the City Learning Centre, for many careers in IT.”

Louise Ball, operations director for Baltic Training Services, added: “The North East has a vibrant growing IT sector and what IT employers need is appropriately qualified young people able to hit the ground running when they secure entry to paid apprenticeship level 3 roles in order to sustain the growth.

“The idea of the IT Apprentice Hub is to fill this requirement providing a pool of talent that can be drawn on right here in the North East therefore not forcing employers to look beyond regional boundaries.

“We are delighted that Newcastle City Council has collaborated on this project providing some wonderful facilities that the young people on this course will really benefit from.”

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