Our next Business Brew podcast is with Middlesbrough College CEO and Principal Zoe Lewis. Here is  the full video from our BUSINESSiQ YouTube site, with a few key extracts from our conversation:

Recent successes:

"We have 12,000 students in every sector of the economy, so there's going to be things going on that are pertinent to this region all of the time.

"We've recently got an award for our career service, which is a national award, a beacon award and we are really, really proud of that.

"We've been inspected by Ofsted and we've got six outstanding judgments around adults, apprenticeships, personal development, which is fantastic to see. And our STEM investment that we started about 10 years ago is continuing.

"We've got digital center that's thriving, TT joining us on campus this summer.

"There's always something new."


"About 12 years ago, just before I became principal, we held an industrial summit and asked everybody what we should do, and that's where our STEM strategy came from.

"We invested about £20 million at the time in various aspects of that STEM strategy. We've invested another £20 million since, but the reason for saying that is it's not money in, it's making a difference in the courses that students choose.

The Northern Echo: Middlesbrough College gets Ofsted seal of approval Middlesbrough College gets Ofsted seal of approval (Image: Middlesbrough College)

"Ten years ago, about a quarter of our students were studying skills priority courses, and now it's nearly three quarters of our students that are choosing to study skills.

"So that's the difference that we've made in terms of the courses that people are choosing to study because we're changing what we offer in response to what's going on locally."


"I've got a 17-year-old who's doing A-levels, who flips between medicine, police, RAF, business economics, international trade but she is strong-minded so all I can do is guide and she will find whichever one suits her and she's in that process at the moment. So far, my younger daughter really doesn't know what she wants to do, probably something along the lines of public services, police, fire.

"But it's not easy, you've got to hope 'I can really see you doing this or that' but it has to be within them to really define that place that's important for them - otherwise, they'll drop out."


  • You can also listen to the podcast on Spotify HERE