A new £4.7m academy is to be built on Teesside to focus on access skills such as scaffolding, rope access, rigging and lifting.

Redcar and Cleveland College says the All Access Academy will be  led by NETA Training, as part of the latest round of capital injections from the government’s Levelling Up partnership fund, following a successful bid by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

“This facility will deliver the training of skills that are in huge demand, not just here in the Tees Valley but across the UK,” said the college’s executive principal, Jason Faulkner.

“Building on the specialist clean and low carbon energy training available through the college’s Clean Energy Education Hub, these are skills that will further support the major projects the likes of SeAH Wind, bp, and many others are bringing to the area and, in doing so, support economic growth.”

Already with a commercial base at Redcar and Cleveland College, NETA Training has a heritage of more than 45 years meeting the training needs of the region. Both are part of the Education Training Collective (Etc.).

NETA director, Sean Johnston, said: “The All Access Academy in Redcar will now build on our commitment to meet the skill demands that will drive our economy, developing a local workforce that has the knowledge, capabilities and skills to benefit from the opportunities that are coming.”

Situated on the college’s Corporation Road site in Redcar, the 750 square metre training facility will offer specialist commercial training. Flagships of the academy will include three purpose-built scaffolding training areas and an additional industrial welding training facility.

Sean said: “The scaffolding industry has been facing skills gaps, locally and nationally, for some time due to issues such as an ageing workforce and a shortage of training. Due to the nature of the trade, scaffolding training needs expertise, industry backing and, of course, lots of space. This new facility will enable us to expand our capacity and help plug both the sector’s training and skills gaps.”

Backing the new development, Dave Mosley, Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) managing director,  said: “The demand for skilled professionals trained in specialised sectors is higher than ever. NETA has a long history of supplying quality training in the region and this project shows commitment to qualifying future scaffolding apprentices and trainees.

“I am confident this initiative will contribute significantly to the growth and enhancement of skills within our industry, providing invaluable opportunities for training and professional development.”

Redcar and Cleveland College executive principal Jason said: “This is great news for the borough, for all those who will go on to access training in what are areas of huge and growing demand, and for employers investing in the area.”

The Northern Echo:

Cllr Alec Brown, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “We welcome this investment in Redcar and Cleveland and have worked positively with the Department for Levelling Up, to make the most of the funding on offer to ensure we continue to deliver for our residents.

“Our plans are designed to improve and enhance the lives of our communities by not only investing in major infrastructure projects but also investing in the people of the borough and their future.

“I am passionate about everyone having the opportunity to achieve their potential and by providing great education, training and employment opportunities whilst also supporting the most vulnerable, young and old, in our communities, I want to create the opportunities in Redcar and Cleveland for everyone to thrive.”

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: “This significant investment, backed by the government Levelling Up funding, marks a pivotal step in making sure our students have the skills they need to take advantage of the high quality jobs that are fast coming to our region.

“By offering advanced training in key areas like scaffolding, welding, and rigging, we are not only enhancing the employability of our residents but also fortifying the foundation of our regional economy for the generations to come.

“The Academy will become a cornerstone in driving economic growth and ensuring that the people of Tees Valley are at the forefront of the skilled labour market, ready to meet the demands of the evolving industries in our area."

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Thanks to Teesworks, Redcar and Cleveland is at the forefront in creating the cleaner, safer and healthier jobs of tomorrow – for local people right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“But there’s no point in us driving investment and good-quality jobs if people can’t access them. This new training centre is another string to Redcar and Cleveland College’s bow, to give our workers even more skills and practical training to succeed in their ambitions and take advantage of new opportunities. This facility offers great, relevant courses to meet business needs not just today, but for years to come.”