A North Tyneside college has scored top marks for innovation and creativity by receiving a new industry-backed accolade.
TyneMet College is the second further education college in the UK – and the first in the north of England – to be awarded the Investor in Innovations standard from NEF: The Innovation Institute.
Investor in Innovations is an holistic standard that assesses the culture of innovation within an organisation.
As well as validating innovation in terms of course design and long-term business strategies, the standard also assesses how entrepreneurialism and creative thinking are encouraged amongst individual staff and students within institutions.
It has been developed by NEF in consultation with more than 40 leading STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-based employers.
The college opened the IGNITE Centre for Engineering and Innovation in September 2015, which provides specialist training in fabrication, electrical engineering, welding, milling and turning – skills that are in high demand regionally.
As well as offering direct training services to local companies, IGNITE will offer student courses aligned to the trailblazer apprenticeship qualifications, starting 2015/16.
TyneMet College’s deputy principal, Audrey Kingham, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the NEF Investors in Innovations Award.
“The whole college works very hard to underpin excellence in innovative practices, from fostering a culture of learning innovation to creating inspirational learning experiences, we demonstrably identify and fulfil industry demand with relevant qualifications, which ultimately make a dramatic difference to individuals, businesses and our local community.
“As a team we think very differently to provide solutions and this is the core of our practice underpinning this recognition.”
NEF chief executive, professor Sa’ad Medhat, added: “Innovation is deeply woven into TyneMet’s operations and long term planning, from the structure of its STEM-based courses to its strategic partnerships.”