North East Connected

Gateshead College develops unique approach to apprenticeships

A North East college has created a unique and highly bespoke approach to help employers recruit young talent from across the region.

Working with Home Group, one of the UK’s largest housing associations, Gateshead College designed a bespoke data analyst apprenticeship to help the organisation appoint a new apprentice data analyst and support the other applicants with their own skills development.

The week-long bootcamp provided an opportunity for each shortlisted candidate to complete workshops and gain recognised qualifications. This process helped the college and Home Group to select candidates for interview and those not chosen still benefitted from being involved in the process by gaining experience and qualifications that strengthen their skillset for future employment opportunities.

Phil O’Neil, head of digital technology and business at Gateshead College, said: “Apprenticeships are vital to ensuring talented people are equipped with work ready skills to succeed in the workplace.

“The workplace is shifting so it’s important that our apprenticeships adapt too, to continue meeting the needs of North East organisations and the communities they serve.

“This innovative approach to the development of young people and their career opportunities is the way forward, helping businesses with an appropriate recruitment strategy but also ensuring the development of all candidates who get involved in the process.

“Even if they don’t secure a specific apprenticeship with a particular employer, they can walk away from the bootcamp course knowing that they now possess skills and qualifications that they didn’t before, strengthening their future chances of securing a job.”

For the Home Group apprenticeship, a group of 27 apprentices from across Tyne and Wear joined the weeklong bootcamp where they completed modules and were assessed in key competencies related to the requirements of the role.

Out of the 27 apprentices that completed the course, 19 passed and two candidates were put forward for the position and interviewed by Home Group’s recruitment team. This led to the appointment of Dan Nicholson, 20 who is now settling into his apprenticeship.

Stuart Campbell, employability manager at Home Group, said: “Community is a big part of our ethos and it’s important to us that whatever we do helps the local communities we serve. When we discussed our recruitment requirements with Gateshead College and were very impressed with their suggested approach.

“The whole team at the college completely understood our position and what we wanted to achieve. It wasn’t just about hiring an apprentice; it was more about equipping a group of young people with lifelong skills that will enhance their development and chances in the workplace.

“They were very proactive and genuinely wanted to work closely with us to support the organisation and our wider aims.”

“Not only did the bespoke approach ensure that we found the right apprentice for the role, but it also gave the other candidates a real opportunity to secure relevant qualifications – equipping them with the confidence and skills they need to secure future job opportunities.”

For more information about Gateshead College’s bespoke apprenticeships, please contact

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