• Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

aaRichard KeirlRichard Keirl

AN experienced leader in education has been appointed to drive forward a new training provider launched by the region’s biggest college group.

Education Partnership North East (EPNE), which incorporates Sunderland College, Northumberland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form College, launched EPNE Training last year. The training provider works across the north east offering skills training to a range of clients – from national organisations to self-employed individuals.

Now Richard Keirl, who has worked in the further education and skills sector for more than ten years, has been appointed EPNE Training’s Managing Director.

Richard has worked across the globe for major training companies and employers in commercial and business development roles, as well as running his own independent training provider (ITP).

Richard said: “I’m delighted to be here and excited by the huge potential of EPNE Training. We have the best of both worlds – the flexibility and agility of an ITP, but with the resources of one of the UK’s largest college groups.

“We already have 40 members of staff, spread across EPNE’s campuses in Sunderland, Ashington and Hartlepool – and we’re growing as we’re currently recruiting trainer/assessor roles and recruitment advisor roles within the Tees Valley and Sunderland.

“Strategically, we believe we can play an important role in addressing skills gaps across the region – specialising in adult skills provision and working with combined authorities on Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs). Our mission really is to help upskill the region’s workforce and support ‘better jobs’ creation.

“About 60 per cent of our provision is focused on retraining, particularly to help people into the areas of manufacturing, health and social care, transport, and logistics, and – increasingly – the area of sustainability and ‘green’ jobs.

“Our footprint is the same as EPNE’s, from Berwick in the north to Teesside in the south, and we’re currently being funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, the Tees Valley Combined Authority, and, nationally, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Sunderland AFC and its official charity, Foundation of Light, Unipres, Believe Housing, Rail Futures, Sunderland Care and Support and battery manufacturer AESC are among the many regional organisations already working with EPNE Training.

Richard explained: “To individuals we offer employment and pre-employment training through a range of courses designed to enhance skills and improve self-confidence.

“For businesses, we can help with recruitment as well as developing the skills of a team to ensure individuals and organisations are more effective and successful.”

“We provide a lot of leadership and management training, and at the moment we’re also providing a great deal of digital skills training.

“As an ITP we can take more of a tailored approach to provision and we work closely with companies, organisations and trade and industry bodies to fully understand exactly what training is needed. Obviously on a more strategical level we work with the LSIPs and Local Skills Improvement Funds to identify where current skills gaps are, and where they will be in the future, and work towards plugging those gaps.

“We work together with our EPNE colleagues on relationships with employers and stakeholders, and on identifying opportunities both for EPNE and EPNE Training.

‘Being a separate training provider gives us a freedom to address very specific needs of employers, and we’re able to be both proactive and reactive because of our smaller size. This model has been working for FE colleges in the area of apprenticeships for some time but is very rare in the world of adult skills provision.”

Richard was brought up in Shropshire and moved to the north east to study at the Teesside University. He currently lives on Teesside.

Ellen Thinnesen, Chief Executive of EPNE, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Richard into the EPNE family. His experience, ambition and impressive network were exactly what we were looking for and he’s already made a real difference at EPNE Training.

“We believed that creating a third-party training provide focusing on adult provision would open new doors and create new opportunities for us, and that is exactly what has happened. It’s a fresh and innovative approach to adult skills provision and organisations are responding very positively to the bespoke, tailored training Richard’s brilliant team can provide.”

For more about EPNE training, go to https://educationpartnershipne.ac.uk/epne-training/ or https://www.linkedin.com/company/epnetraining/?originalSubdomain=uk

And if you’re interested in applying to EPNE Training for a trainer/assessor or recruitment advisor role, email info@epnetraining.co.uk