College boosts grid’s skills bid

From left, Northern Powergrid students Paul Bramley, Kain Walten-Bell and Frances Humphries.
From left, Northern Powergrid students Paul Bramley, Kain Walten-Bell and Frances Humphries.

Wallsend’s Tyne Metropolitan College has joined forces with Sunderland University and Northern Powergrid in a bid to tackle the skills shortage crisis facing the electrical industry.

TyneMet and the Wearside university have worked in collaboration to develop a foundation degree course in electrical power, and the Battle Hill Drive college has now added a higher national certificate course (HNC) in electrical engineering for employees of Northern Powergrid.

Sean Caskey, head of rural zones for the Newcastle-based electrical distribution company, said: “We are now in the third year of our partnership with TyneMet College.

“They have ticked all the boxes. The qualifications are proving to be very effective.

“Our employees are ready for the task in hand and leave TyneMet with a power-based qualification linked to their jobs.”

“The higher national diploma programme launched is very promising, and we look forward to building upon our success with the college.”

Northern Powergrid workers travel from across the region and as far afield as Yorkshire to study at TyneMet.

Andy Smith, engineering course Leader at the college, said: “We have worked closely with Northern Powergrid to provide a flexible curriculum delivery of a wide range of higher education courses that meet the intrinsic needs of the electrical power industry.

“The skills shortage in this sector is evident, and to tackle this issue, we’ve launched a brand new course for 2016 – an HNC in electrical engineering for the electrical power industry developed with input from Northern Powergrid.”