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Rising Stars programme addresses North East skills shortage

NCFE and British Engines have been working alongside training provider, Baltic Training, on a new initiative to address the skills shortage in the IT sector across the North East. The newly created NCFE Academy aims to nurture the next generation of talented young people. 

Running a specific training programme, named ‘Rising Stars’, the NCFE Academy will give local teens the opportunity to develop their technical skills and gain relevant practical work experience.

The programme will see a group of young learners take part in a 15 week ‘boot camp’ which  will consist of academic learning, shadowing and observing along with other practical work experience. A certificate of achievement will be given to all of the learners who complete the boot camp and 5 of those learners will then be given the opportunity to join NCFE and British Engines on a one year Apprenticeship programme.

The successful candidates who have gained a place on the initial boot camp were put through their paces in an assessment centre conducted by Baltic Training and also face to face interviews with NCFE and British Engines at their offices on Quorum Business Park in Longbenton.

Research by The Edge Foundation has shown that the skills required for 9 out of the 10 most in-demand occupations of the future can be attained by completing vocational qualifications. By 2022 there is set to be an additional 3.6 million job vacancies in mid-skilled occupations in a range of sectors, all of which employ high numbers of people with vocational qualifications. Nearly half of students now consider apprenticeships rather than university. 

Successful boot camp candidate Tom Snell commented “I’d looked into lots of options for my future and decided applying for the Rising Stars programme was a great idea as I’d get a qualification and work experience, along with the chance of becoming an apprentice at the end of it. I’m really looking forward to joining the programme, it’s a great opportunity which I hope to make the best of”. Lindsey Gibson, ITPS Manager at NCFE, commented, “We’ve been delighted with the 
calibre of applicants for our Rising Stars programme. For many of these young people, it’s their first experience of going through a recruitment process and they’ve all risen to the challenge.

“At NCFE, our core business is developing vocational qualifications and apprenticeships to help young people move on to the next stage in their lives and careers. We believe that there are lots of routes to career success and an academic pathway isn’t for everyone. With this in mind, the Rising Stars programme is a great fit for us and it’ll be fantastic to watch these young people grow and develop through the NCFE Academy.”

Kate Simpson, Group HR Director at British Engines, said: “Apprenticeships are a key part of our business; our in-house apprenticeship programme has seen more than 800 local people trained by British Engines in both engineering and commercial disciplines. We are pleased to be working with NCFE on an additional programme to address the specific skills shortages in the IT sector.”

Notes to editors:

About NCFE

  • NCFE is one of the UK’s leading awarding bodies, developing and implementing vocational and academic qualifications in a range of subjects. 
  • NCFE works with 2000 colleges, schools and training providers to offer 520 qualifications on the QCF and NQF in a range of subject areas. 
  • NCFE works closely with colleges, training providers, schools and employers throughout the UK to develop specific and relevant qualifications which focus on the needs of the learners and employees.
  • NCFE is also a registered educational charity and a company limited by guarantee.
  • Our charitable aim is 'to promote and advance the education and training of young persons and adults'.

About British Engines:

  • British Engines was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1922, building on the region’s rich engineering heritage and local skills base. The group’s six businesses design, develop and manufacture technology leading products, which are being used across the globe.
  • British Engines has offices and factories in Newcastle, South Shields, Cramlington, 
  • Gateshead and Bishop Auckland. This is complemented by a network of offices in key locations around the world.
  • The British Engines Group is made up of the following businesses; BEL Valves, CMP Products, Rotary Power, Stephenson Gobin, Stadium Packing and BEL Engineering.
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