Think of industry in the north east and you might think of mining and shipbuilding, the big employers of the past, or manufacturers like Nissan very much the employers of today.
You might, however, be unaware that the north east is gaining recognition for it’s growing IT sector. More than 32,000 people are employed in IT and the challenge is on to find enough skilled people for the future.
North Tyneside is at the centre of the action particularly Accenture on Cobalt Business Park which is leading the way in recruiting apprentices.
Recent figures from the government showed an alarming decline in apprenticeship starts across many sectors in the last year but Dynamo, the region’s IT employer network, is showing how it can be done.
A recent consultation by the government on apprenticeships found that many employers believe the process is too complicated and as the North East Chamber of Commerce commented, smaller companies off are put off.
The IT sector includes a large number of small companies and the strength of the IT apprenticeship hub is that big companies like Accenture are involved.
They help to organise the training, with further and higher education providers, and it creates a pool of qualified individuals who small employers can recruit. It’s a model which the next government could learn from.