Skills gap boost as County Durham manufacturing training group created

Manufacturing in the North East is being given a boost with the launch of Go Ahead Training

The Go Ahead Training team in Newton Aycliffe: Dave Spensley, Shaun Stuart and Zane Simane
The Go Ahead Training team in Newton Aycliffe: Dave Spensley, Shaun Stuart and Zane Simane

A new training company has launched in County Durham in a bid to address the skills gap within manufacturing.

Go Ahead Training has been set in motion by experienced engineering boss Dave Spensley, who wants to ensure companies within the manufacturing sector can access a deep talent pool.

The region’s industrial sectors are undergoing a revival as the drive to re-shore continues.

However some employers say there is a dearth of young people with the skills required to help the North East capitalise on its strengths within manufacturing and engineering.

Mr Spensley said: “I have worked in the manufacturing industry for a number of years and know this region is ideally positioned to capitalise on the opportunities which are available, if there are enough talented people out there for employers to access.

“Go Ahead Training will act as the middle man between schools and colleges and industry, so we can ensure we’re equipping young people with the skills and attitudes needed to work within the sectors.

“One of the main challenges is educating young people that there are real jobs out there for them, and that if they work hard and demonstrate a willingness to work and learn, there will be chances to not only progress but also carve out a career for life.”

The firm will initially work with schools and colleges within the County Durham and Teesside areas, delivering programmes for primary and secondary engineers, the Opportunity Programme (NEET prevention), The F1 Challenge, VEX IQ Robotics and an enterprise programme.

Mr Spensley added: “Employers are crying out for talented young people who can come into their business and grow.

“Our manufacturing and engineering sectors do have an ageing workforce so it’s vital that if they’re to continue to grow they have ready-made replacements for those workers who reach retirement age.

“We are confident Go Ahead Training is exactly what the region needs and will become the ‘go to’ organisation for employers who want to attract young people who they can train and invest in as the engineers and manufacturers of the future.”

Go Ahead Training is based at The Workplace in Newton Aycliffe and employs three members of staff, with plans to add to the team over the coming months.

RTC North, one of Europe’s leading technology transfer companies, is working with Go Ahead Training to deliver engineering programmes to schools on Teesside.

Carol Harrison, STEM contract manager, said: “Thousands of young people from the North East leave school, college and university every year with absolutely no direction in life.

“They are not aware of the global opportunities North East organisations can offer them if the study STEM subjects at higher levels.

“Go Ahead training will provide a platform where education and industry can come together so that both sides will be better informed.”


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