A new training scholarship could soon be helping to inspire the Tees Valley’s next generation of aspiring welders.

Stockton’s NETA Training is one of just eight providers across England chosen to deliver the ECITB’s new scholarship scheme.

The national initiative aims to help bring upcoming talent into the engineering construction industry as employers rebound from the economic impact of the Covid 19 crisis.

Responding to predicted regional skills shortages, NETA has been allocated 14 places for welding students to take part in the two-year training programme. What’s more the scheme comes with a weekly £140 term-time allowance.

“This is a massive coup, not only for NETA but for the area as a whole, to be able to bring this opportunity to the Tees Valley,” said NETA’s head of department for engineering Dave Laycock.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for those young people looking to develop their skills for a career in the trade. We are delighted to have been selected by the ECITB to work alongside them on this exciting programme.”

The scheme will support up to 250 learners nationally in a range of engineering disciplines and students will acquire a level 3 engineering certificate as well as relevant site passports.

It has been developed in direct response to the expected drop in apprenticeship recruitment this year.

Chris Claydon, ECITB Chief Executive, said: “The scholarship will support industry in the short-term by underwriting the risk to employers of taking on new entrants and in the long-term by launching the next generation into engineering careers.”

After using labour market disciplines to forecast regional demand, he said: “The scheme will help ensure there are young people, trained and qualified with in-demand skills, to provide a pipeline of new talent for industry when the economy rebounds.”

NETA Training has also been selected, once again, to deliver the one-year Introduction to Engineering Construction (ITEC) programme, offering a further 12 ECITB-backed places, again with a focus on welding.

Dave said: “At NETA we are proud to have built a strong partnership with the ECITB and we are looking forward to being part of this new flagship programme.

“Our aim is not just to give our students the technical skills of their trade but also the attitude and behaviours that employers demand. This is a further opportunity to further develop our young people, to put them in front of employers and showcase all they have to offer.”