Staff and students at TyneMet College are celebrating another exceptional achievement for the College’s dedicated sports’ department, as it scoops the top award for Best College/ Employer Relationship in the UK.

The AoC awards celebrate the very best of college sport with five categories in total including: Inspirational Student of the Year, Sport Apprentice or Student Activator of the Year, Student Performer of the Year, Outstanding Developments in a College Sport Programme and Best College/Employer Relationship. 

Colleges were required to nominate students and programmes over the last six weeks for the judges’ consideration with the winners announced during AoC Sport's College Sport Conference at The International Centre, Telford. 

Tyne Metropolitan College beat off stiff competition from Newcastle-under-Lyme College, Lancaster and Morecambe College to win the top award. The judging panel commended the College for its exceptional partnerships with employers, particularly the relationship it has built through collaborative working with Active Northumberland over the last four years.

Mark White OBE, Board Member of AoC Sport commented: “The high calibre of the partnership Tyne Metropolitan College and Active Northumberland enjoy is highly impressive and demonstrates a College/Employer Relationship at its very best. What we have witnessed is a remarkably tenacious attitude to driving skills forward in the sport and fitness industry and a college that works extremely hard to support economic development in the region and beyond.”

The College’s winning submission focused on the development of an apprenticeship pathway of two learners on an Activity Leadership Framework. This offer has now grown across five different pathways to become an integral recruitment strategy for the organisation. Active Northumberland have employed over 25 apprentices over the last four years, many of which who remain with the organisation. 

TyneMet College and Active Northumberland designed a bespoke programme of study targeting 16 to 18-year-olds within the Northumberland area. The aim for this programme of study is to blend the appropriate mix of qualifications and industry skills in order to prepare learners to progress into part-time and full-time employment within Active Northumberland. 

Chris Scurfield, Facilities Manager at Active Northumberland said: “This is an exciting time for Active Northumberland, this is a wonderful achievement for Active Northumberland and TyneMet College.  The partnership further cements our ambitious strategic growth plan and further cements our dedication in investing in a skilled workforce. This is an exciting time for Active Northumberland, we’ve worked with the College for a number of years who have provided us with an outstanding apprenticeship programme and we look forward to building upon this success.”

This award comes just weeks after Andrew Pearson, 21, from Seghill in Northumberland who studied an apprenticeship with TyneMet and Active Northumberland won first place in the Personal Trainer Competition for the North of England, in the AOC Regional Fitness Competition.

Warick Stephenson, Head of Sport at TyneMet College comments: “We are extremely proud of winning this award which recognises the tireless efforts of the College and Active Northumberland to deliver an exceptional learning experience for our students.

“By working closely together, we can ensure that we deliver a programme which equips students, such as Andrew, with the right mix of qualifications and work experience, giving them the best chance of pursuing their career aspirations, while also helping to fill the skills gap for employers such as Active Northumberland.”

For more information about the variety of courses on offer at TyneMet, visit: or call 0191 229 5000.