UK’s first engineering Career College to open in 2015

Posted on 17 Dec 2014 by Jonny Williamson

The nation’s inaugural 14-19 Career College to specialise in engineering will reportedly open in September 2015, having been granted approval by the Career Colleges Trust.

South Tyneside College will be opening a Career College specialising in Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Computer Science – with the aim to inspire and equip young people in the area to become the next generation of advanced manufacturing engineers and computer specialists.

The South Tyneside project, Career College North East, is backed by several local and national employers in the region, including Ford Aerospace, Nine and Zenith Recruitment.

The College has also partnered with a local, outstanding school, St Wilfrid’s RC, to deliver the core academic subjects, in accordance with the National Curriculum.

This employer–college–school relationship is hoped to ensure the design and delivery of a dynamic, relevant and innovative curriculum, with high quality academic teaching.

Luke_Johnson, chairman, Career Colleges Trust
Luke_Johnson, chairman, Career Colleges Trust

Chairman of the Career Colleges Trust, Luke Johnson, commented: “South Tyneside College has put forward a strong proposal and I am particularly encouraged to see the Career College brand extending to STEM specialisms.

“The advanced manufacturing and engineering industry in South Tyneside and the North East is growing. Career College North East will help ensure that any future skills gaps are filled and the area can continue to prosper.

“The partnerships with both an outstanding local school and key employers will ensure high quality provision in the core subject areas, along with relevant vocational training. This is exactly what Career Colleges are about and I support this concept wholeheartedly.”

South Tyneside will join Oldham’s Digital and Creative Career College, Hugh Baird’s Hospitality and Catering Career College in Liverpool and Bromley’s Food, Enterprise and Hospitality Career College in South East London. All of which opened in September 2014.

Alison Maynard, Principal, South Tyneside Professional and Vocational College, said: “Career College North East will uniquely bring together enterprise, business and education into one highly focused vocational pathway.

“With it will come great benefits to pupils who are clear about their future career direction, as they will gain access to the advanced training that will help them succeed.

“Jobs are being created in the North East through initiatives such as the City Deal which is creating the International Advanced Manufacturing Park on our doorstep. The Career College will play an important part in ensuring there are enough young people with the right skills to fill jobs such as those.”

Career Colleges UK

Career Colleges, launched by Lord Baker in October 2013, are a new innovation in employer-led education which take advantage of the government’s decision to allow FE colleges to recruit at 14 – increasing the range and choice of opportunities for 14-19 year olds.

A Career College aims to provide an opportunity to combine academic and vocational studies within a specific industry specialism, improving career prospects for young people in the local labour market.

Alongside rigorous academic teaching in maths, English and other core subjects, Career Colleges offer ‘real-world’ challenges, coupled with work experience, enabling students to develop their wider employability skills. Employers are integral to the design and delivery the curriculum, ensuring that all learning is relevant.

Presently, many more applicants from around the country are seeking approval from the Trust to open Career Colleges in 2016 and beyond.