Training provision given a boost

The launch of a new independent training provider in North Tyneside looks set to give a major boost to those seeking industry specific training and apprenticeships in the region.

Trade Training Associates (TTA), which was launched just three months ago and is located in 12,000 sq ft of purpose designed accommodation at North Tyne Industrial Estate, Benton, has already gained approval for its outstanding facilities and training standards from the British Plumbing Employers Council (BPEC) and City & Guilds.  The Learning and Skills Council has also given its backing to TTA to deliver programmes which attract its mainstream funding.

TTA specialises in the delivery of high quality, industry specific training and assessment in the gas, water, oil and renewable energy sectors as well as LSC funded apprentice and Train to Gain training and assessment.  Financial backing from private investors has enabled the company to embark upon ambitious expansion plans which include establishing five training centres throughout the country in the future as well as facilitating the creation of a custom designed training area.

Ian Wood and Blake Robinson, directors of the new venture, are no strangers to the world of apprenticeships and training, having given up senior roles at Newcastle College to form the company.  At the present time, the emphasis is on heating, gas and plumbing training but provision is growing and the range of available courses will continue to expand as demand increases.

Speaking about their new venture, Ian Wood commented: “We are really excited about TTA’s potential.  There are three distinct strands within the business: apprenticeships and Train to Gain for those who are already in work and require training; programme-led, for those young people who want to get into work but do not have an employer; and full cost training and assessment for ACS gas and LPG accreditation.

 “What we can offer employers is superior training support.  Our business hours are the same as those of the companies we work with, which means apprenticeships are achieved in a maximum of three years instead of four.  This creates a significant benefit to the employers.

 “As well as 20 heating apprentices who are in employment, we already have 30 programme led heating apprentices   and although only part qualified, they are ready to go on placement to companies. Our links with an established national  H&V engineering business, has led to us providing  weekend courses  for customer service and asbestos awareness and a partnership  with TyneMet College will enable us to further expand the range of course we can offer.

 “We also take 16-18 year olds and make a start on preparing their work readiness for the sector – this is an age group that employers are generally not keen to take on because they lack the basic skills to make a financial contribution to the bottom line, but we improve their work skills, literacy, numeracy and listening during their time with us and they go through an assessment at the end, which establishes their competency.

 “We are reviewing course provision all the time and are looking forward confidently to the future.”


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