A new academy training engineers of the future has been officially opened.
Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton MP officially opened the state-of-the-art Skills Academy on North Tyneside.
The £2.5m Connect Academy has been developed by AIS Training to give young people aged 16 to 24 the skills, work experience and knowledge needed to begin careers in the global energy, construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors.
The centre includes specially-designed welding bays, engineering work spaces, scaffolding areas, fully equipped classrooms and chill-out spaces.
These programmes are developed in close consultation with industry and are tailored according to employers’ needs.
Trainees are then matched with employers to get real on-the-job experience.
Mr Wharton said: “This Government remains committed to rebalancing the economy through creating a Northern Powerhouse.
“Boosting skills to meet the needs of the local economy will help increase productivity and leaders and employers in the North have a big role to play in this.”
Paul Attrill, director of skills and education at AIS, said: “We are delighted to unveil our new multi-million-pound Connect Academy, which we believe offers something unique to young people looking to move into industry.
“Connect will now bring this extensive expertise to help develop young talent from grass roots level.”
“We’re putting employers at the heart of every programme we develop and are listening to what they need: motivated, proactive, enthusiastic workers with the right skills to be productive from day one.
“Our courses deliver this by instilling a strong work ethic and training youngsters in practical skills much in demand like basic engineering, fabrication and welding so they are prepared and ready for work.
“Undoubtedly this answers industry’s need for new recruits with the right skills and attitude, at the same time as helping young people take those important first steps onto the career ladder.”
AIS Connect is holding drop-in sessions Monday to Friday 2pm to 4pm for anyone interested in finding out more about their training programmes.
For more details contact Beth Cowen or Laura Patterson at Connect on 0191 3410250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org