Tyne Metropolitan College’s new £2.6m construction training centre – which has officially opened - will deliver a skills boost to the North East and help build better careers for young people, North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, has predicted.
She said the flagship TMC facility at TyneMet will provide pivotal support to the region’s construction sector by targeting key skills development. In the process, it will help eradicate a recognised skills gap in an industrial arena seeing consistent growth amid a housing boom and other developments, she added.
The two-storey TMC boasts classrooms, learning hubs and demonstration areas, all fully fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Trades covered include bricklaying, plastering, dry-lining, painting and decorating, plumbing, joinery, and electrical engineering.
Programmes of study – including apprenticeships - are available to school-leavers, with flexible adult and part time courses for adults looking to re-train, upskill or begin a career. Overall, it specialises in delivering the hands-on skills that equip learners for work in construction and building services across the region.
TMC welcomed its first students in September and the Elected Mayor, who took part in the ground-breaking last summer, returned to unveil an official opening plaque.
She was joined by Dr Lindsey Whiterod CBE, Chief Executive of Tyne Coast College (TCC), which operates TyneMet, TCC Chair of Governors Andrew Watts, and Audrey Kingham, Principal of TyneMet.
Mayor Redfearn said: “The construction and opening of this centre marks a significant milestone in the future development of much-needed skills in this sector in the North East.
“It is investment which demonstrates that the region is tackling issues around skills and is prepared to support its young people.
“I took part in the ground-breaking last year that signalled the start of construction of this facility, and I’m delighted to return to official open it.”
Dr Whiterod added: “Skills gaps exist in a number of sectors which are of vital importance to the North East’s future economic growth, with construction among them.
“There is strong demand for young people to work in this sector, but they first need the skills that will help them achieve that.
“It is vitally important that investment is delivered which gives learners every opportunity to progress into the careers they want.
“The opening of this centre shows that Tyne Coast College recognises the importance to individuals to know they can attain high-level skills.”
The centre has replaced the former TMC training facility which was highly regarded for delivering one of the North East’s widest packages of construction-based training.
Lecturers are delivering a phased expansion of its curriculum, allowing them to offer additional higher-level courses, HE and skills training.
To find out more about what TMC has to offer, visit www.tynemet.ac.uk or contact 0191 229 5000.