North East Connected

Redcar steelworks employees handed new training opportunity

Steelworkers across Redcar and Teesside are being handed a new training opportunity in an attempt to get them back into industry-related employment.

Sim Academy, a simulation training provider, will open its doors to ex-SSI workers throughout October in a series of workshops and open days.

The organisation delivers simulated training using state-of- the-art machinery, offering a realistic and engaging insight into careers within the agriculture, construction and mining industries. The training is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Sim Academy’s equipment can be adapted to simulate a wide range of equipment, including wheel loaders, tower cranes, hauliers and excavators. This offers an environmentally-friendly alternative to onsite training where machinery has to be taken out of operation for training activities.

Such simulation technology is already replied upon by industries such as medicine and air travel.

Sim Academy has announced that its new training scheme, which can take as little as twenty hours to complete, will offer an NVQ Level 1 certificate, giving job seekers an additional qualification to make them more attractive to potential employers.

The firm has also expressed hopes of offering a ‘recruitment service’, keeping unemployed trainees on record to recommend them to construction, agriculture and mining organisations.

About Redcar Steelworks

In 2015, around 3,000 jobs were lost after Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) announced it plans to close. The closure of the plant, which affected both direct employees and those who worked within the factory’s supply chain, was labelled a ‘devastating blow’ by local MPs.

A 2016 Department for Work and Pensions review revealed that 1,990 of the 2,150 workers who made a claim for benefits has since ended that claim, with 500 never making a claim.

It is believed that at least 160 former staff remain unemployed.

About Sim Academy

Sim Academy, headed by experienced educational expert Mick Gray, launched earlier this year.

After decades of helping organisations such as Caterpillar, UK Coal and his own firm, Competency Training Solutions, Mick is best-placed to deliver engaging and innovative training to the masses.

Speaking of the venture, Mick said: “Bringing simulation into construction training just makes sense, and I am excited to see what the technology can the wider industry in the coming months.

“We are welcoming former SSI workers to our Sim Academy open days to take advantage of our brand new innovative technology – and offer our assistance in helping them find employment.”

Sim Academy open days take place between the 10 th and the 14 th of October. To find out more or to book a place, visit

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