Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 12.10.38A North East college has set aside more cash for apprenticeships as it reports a major upsurge in the number of people taking up this form of training.

Figures from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) show that Redcar & Cleveland College now spends 34% of its SFA funding allocation on apprenticeships – more than any other Teesside college. The organisation is ranked in the top 25% of the 212 UK colleges listed, coming in at 53rd place in the table ahead of Hartlepool (81st), Darlington (93rd), Middlesbrough (145th) and Stockton Riverside (160th).

With the Government aiming to create another three million apprenticeships by 2020, Redcar & Cleveland College has focused heavily on promoting its offering in this area and building partnerships with employers across a variety of sectors, including IT, engineering, manufacturing and green energy. The organisation also offers apprenticeships and other vocational training courses at its Oil & Gas International Training Academy, which is based at the Corporation Road site.

Steven Winterburn, apprenticeships manager at Redcar & Cleveland College, said: “Take-up of apprenticeships at the college has increased dramatically in the last couple of years and we have set aside a bigger proportion of our SFA funding for this type of training. We’ve spent a lot of time promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to potential students and engaging with companies to find out which skills they require to take their business forward.

“This form of training is proving extremely popular as it provides learners with a great opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification while earning a wage. It also gives employers access to a pipeline of skilled, hungry workers who can have a positive impact on their business.”

All apprentices who study at Redcar & Cleveland College have access to the latest technology which allows them to update their work portfolios wherever they are in the world. The organisation was one of the first education providers in the country to bring Smart Assessor software to students, who can use it to upload audio, photos and videos for assessors to view, make changes to written work and engage in group discussions and e-learning sessions remotely via their smart phone or laptop.

Mr Winterburn said: “We’re always looking at different ways of helping our students and this tool enables them to keep their work portfolios updated while they are out on location. In particular this benefits apprentices, who spend a lot of their time working off site in local companies.

“All of our apprentices have been on the Smart Assessor programme, which has allowed them to excel in their studies through flexible learning.”

For further information about apprenticeships at Redcar & Cleveland College, please call 01642 473132 or visit http://www.cleveland.ac.uk or our Facebook page RedcarApprenticeships.

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