A group of Gateshead College engineering apprentices are celebrating this week after securing permanent jobs on the Tyne and Wear Metro system.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has rewarded ten recruits with full time engineering jobs after they all successfully completed their three years of training.
The apprentices were the first to join Nexus’s expanded modern apprenticeship scheme in 2013.
They have worked towards an HNC in railway engineering and have trained with a range of Metro maintenance departments. The training has been delivered in partnership with Gateshead College.
Nexus launched a new-look apprenticeship training programme in 2013 to bring more fresh faces into the workforce.
Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “This helps us to secure the long term future of our workforce and it gives the apprentices the chance to start an exciting career in the railway industry as engineers.
“We have invested in more training so that we have the right people and the right skills in place to maintain the Metro system for many years to come. It’s vital that we lower the age profile of the workforce.
“These apprentices are the Metro managers and supervisors of the future. This is just the start of a great journey for them.”
Judith Doyle, principal and chief executive at Gateshead College, said: “We’re proud to work with Nexus and other north east businesses to develop and deliver apprenticeship programmes, helping them to grow and nurture highly skilled workforces.
“This is a fantastic achievement for our apprentices and it gives me great pride to see that all of their hard work has paid off by gaining a full time job. I wish them every success as they continue to forge successful careers with Nexus.”
Individuals on the Nexus apprenticeship programme spend their first year on block release at Gateshead College’s Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics at Team Valley, as well as receiving training in the workplace.
This will lead to them achieving an NVQ Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. They will also gain English, Maths and IT skills at Level 2.
In the second and third years, they will continue their studies through day release at college, building on the engineering principles gained in the first year and equipping them with advanced technical skills as they work towards an HNC Level 4 in Railway Engineering.
The funding for Gateshead College apprenticeship programmes is made available via the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The Skills Funding Agency are responsible for improving the skills of England’s young people and adults to ensure we have a workforce of world-class standard. The European Social Fund is transforming lives through better skills and better job prospects.
Click here for more information on apprenticeships at Gateshead College.