In a bid to revolutionise dry lining apprenticeships across the country, the partnership will see a significant investment from British Gypsum in the provision of their expertise, materials and equipment for the College to facilitate the new offer that will provide apprenticeships and a specialist upskilling programme.

The strategic partnership will ultimately improve and increase the training provision for apprenticeships in dry lining as partner colleges, such as TMC, deliver employer relevant skills. Course tutors at the partner colleges will take part in ongoing CPD to understand current site practices to develop their ongoing knowledge of the Interiors sector. This ensures the course delivery aligns exactly to what sub-contractors need from apprentices through formal training.

National Technical Academy Manager at British Gypsum, Dave Hall, said: “TMC, TyneMet College’s construction division, are very refreshing in their training provision outlook. Right from the word go, they took their time to understand the true nature of the qualifications and training that needed to be facilitated to meet the needs of Industry.  Dry lining is classed as a specialist trade, it uses modern techniques and we were looking for a College that could support this. The team at TMC are dedicated, enthusiastic and committed to providing a great service - we are delighted to welcome TyneMet on-board as one of the four providers”.

There are currently 23,000 unqualified dry liners working in the interior fit out industry who don’t currently have a formal qualification. The construction industry is in need of skilled tradespeople who have the qualifications to match. British Gypsum will be supporting the selected colleges to deliver the NVQ Level 2 Interior Systems dry lining fixer qualification. British Gypsum, part of the Saint-Gobain group, is the UK’s leading manufacturer of interior lining systems. The company produces gypsum based systems including plaster, plasterboard and ceiling solutions.

British Gypsum’s Dave Hall added: “Through our college partner initiative, we are creating a model for other manufacturers to follow in creating a wider network of training provision which our sector desperately needs.   We want to ensure the construction sector is equipped with an up-to-date skilled workforce ensuring training is aligned to the needs of industry.”

Tyne Metropolitan College will be investing in purpose-built facilities to accommodate the dry lining and plastering apprenticeships and up-skilling programmes at the College’s growing campus at the North Tyne Industrial Estate in Benton.

Head of Construction at TMC, Martin Waller, said: “As a college, we understand that we need to deliver purposeful, quality qualifications that provide employers and employees with industry relevant skills. To be recognised as a trusted, expert dry lining training provider is a huge achievement – through the partnership we look forward to working closely with British Gypsum to provide innovative, industry relevant apprenticeships.”

The new centre for dry lining qualifications will open its doors in September 2015, if you are an employer interested in dry lining and plastering training email enquires@tynemet.ac.uk.  For more information on TyneMet’s construction campus, TMC visit www.tmcbenton.co.uk