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Welcome to the Northern Skills Group newsletter, our first edition!

Who we are Northern Skills Group is the commercial training arm of Middlesbrough College bringing together the expertise and experience of the College and former North East Chamber of Commerce training arm - NECC Training. The group collectively trains over 1500 apprentices delivering courses and programmes across the North East and Yorkshire. Our vision is simple, to harness and develop the talent of the North through being experts in apprenticeships and training.

We at Northern Skills Group understand how hectic work life can be, so finding the time to step away from the day to day and plan for your businesses future can sometimes be challenging. Developing your current workforce or recruiting new staff is vital to any business growth plan which is why we have produced a bite-sized brief on all things apprenticeships and training. So take a step away from the inbox, grab a cup of tea and take the time to find out how apprenticeships and training have helped many businesses across the region.

Training courses Start the New Year the right way by future-proofing your workforce this January

The STEM Centre based in Middlesbrough, is Northern Skills Group’s hub of innovation and technology, specialising in industry training courses. Delivered by a team of industry trained experts, our courses can help increase productivity and develop a highly skilled workforce to ensure you have the competitive edge. Some of the courses we offer:

17th Edition Electrical Training and Refresher

PAT Portable Appliance Testing

CITB Skills Health and Safety Awareness & Green Card Test

CCNSG National Safety Passport

Risk Assessment

6 Sigma Green Belt

TAQA Training Assessment Quality Assurance

NEBOSH General Certificate*

First Aid

TWI Welder Approval

AAT Level 1 - 4

Institute of Leadership and Management Level 2 - 5

Plus many more!

Contact the STEM Centre on 01642 333344 or email to book a place. Want to train your whole team? Group discounts available. *excludes NEBOSH and IOSH courses

Experts in

Apprenticeships & Training

Apprenticeship reform update Key things you should know

New Apprenticeship Standards will replace the old frameworks between now and 2020

As an employer, you can play a key role in the development of the new Apprenticeship Standards

The Apprenticeship Levy, part of the reform, will be in place from April 6th 2017

Employers with an annual payroll over £3 million will pay 0.5% of their wage bill towards the Levy

Every standard will be allocated to a funding band of which there are 15 in total For every £1 invested by employers towards apprenticeship funding, the Government will invest an additional £2 up to a maximum cap of £18,000

Levy paying employers will also receive £15,000 funding towards their apprenticeship training, in the form of a digital voucher

Non Levy paying employers (98% of you) who wish to take on an apprentice will co-invest 10% towards apprenticeship training with the Government contributing the remaining 90%

Non Levy paying employers who recruit 16 - 18 year olds will get their apprentice’s training for free

Northern Skills Group are offering free consultations to advise on preparing for the reform and how it will affect your workforce development

Confused about the Apprenticeship Reforms? To book a free appointment with one of our Apprenticeship Levy advisors call 03453 40 40 40

Apprenticeships we offer •

AAT Accountancy

Dental Nursing


Leadership and Management

Health and Care

Process Operations

Food and Beverage Service


Warehousing and Storage

Professional Cookery

IT User Skills

And many more.

Building Maintenance

Social Media for Business


Customer Service


Customer Feedback “Northern Skills Group have proven to be a solid and reliable source of apprentices for my business”

“We have an excellent, long standing relationship and as such, approach the apprenticeships team on an annual basis”

John M Evans, Caterpillar

Theanna De Sancho, Elring Klinger


Apprentice Beth weighs in with wagon-loads of talent

Our Top Candidates

Seventeen-year-old Beth Cowardine is showing she’s no lightweight when it comes to tackling an apprenticeship – because she weighs wagons for a living. And Beth, from Darlington, says she owes her burgeoning career in logistics to a good grounding at Northern Skills Group.

Northern Skills Group have some excellent candidates who are keen to develop their career via an apprenticeship, read on and see if they could play a part in your business growth

Beth won a place as an apprentice with Cobra Middlesbrough Ltd, a Road/Rail Terminal based in the old Middlesbrough Goods Yard. Beth and her two fellow colleagues, weigh all the lorries in and out of the North Road site, after Northern Skills Group fixed her up with a work placement there. She said: “When I left school I did a few different things, but then I saw the NVQ course in logistics at Northern Skills Group and thought it looked interesting. “As part of the course, they arranged the work placement for me – and I really enjoyed it. My work includes waving wagons on and off the weighbridge, handling invoices, logging orders and handling other kinds of admin.” Cobra liked Beth too, and took her on. She’s now starting an 18-month apprenticeship with the company, and returns to Northern Skills Group one day a week as part of it. Geoff Robinson, Operations Director at Cobra, said: “Beth is like a breath of fresh air. She is full of enthusiasm and learning more skills every day. We look forward to her taking on more responsibilities in the future”. Beth is studying both IT Level 2 and Supply Chain Level 2 at Northern Skills Group, and says she loves it there. “I’d 100% recommend other young people to go there – they treat you like an adult and help you all the way through,” she said. Northern Skills Group Lead, Peter Wilson said “Beth is a good example of a student who is following the apprenticeship route into an excellent career. “We train around 1,500 apprentices every year at Northern Skills Group, and pride ourselves on our facilities.”

Candidate A

Aged 16-18 from the Gateshead area, Candidate A is looking for a building services engineering technician role to gain invaluable experience and qualifications. A positive, proactive individual who is versatile, analytical and hard-working, Candidate A has administrative experience and communicates well. This candidate has achieved 10 GCSE grades A-C and is looking for an opportunity to start their career.

Candidate B

Aged 16-18 from the Newcastle area, Candidate B is looking for a dental nurse apprenticeship to put them on the right track to their dream career.

This candidate is a highly motivated and hardworking individual and is proficient in all areas of Microsoft Office including Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

This candidate has achieved 9 GCSE’s and is keen to begin learning and building confidence in their chosen career.

Candidate C

Aged 16-18 from the Sunderland area, Candidate C is looking for a business administration apprenticeship to gain valuable training as well as hands on experience.

This candidate has achieved 9 GCSE’s A-C and is excited to start learning within a hands-on environment.

A hardworking individual who is organised and has excellent communication skills gained from their experience in customer facing and back office roles.

Contact a member of our team on 03453 40 40 40 or email

Experts in

Apprenticeships & Training


Go-karts and good apprenticeship training add up to success for Labman An award winning North East business where go-karting is part of the creative process has hailed the positive impact of apprenticeship training. Labman manufactures customised robotic solutions for industrial, medical and laboratory applications - and with a demanding clientele, their apprentices need to hit the ground running. So as well as taking charge of projects early in their careers, they also enjoy possibly the most funky office in the region, complete with climbing wall, karting track and even a squash court in a soon-to-be-completed building extension.

“We find Northern Skills very adaptable and positive towards tailoring the training to what we and the apprentices need”, said Jamie.

Senior manager Jamie Marsay said: “Because we provide a customised service and solutions, creativity and invention is a huge part of what we do, and we’ve created a fun workplace where that kind of energy can be fuelled. “Our apprentices are also given plenty to get their teeth into, right from the start – we entrust them with responsibility, supported by senior managers, and they often lead projects and handle big budgets.” This approach has led to Labman winning the apprenticeship category at the recent North East Business Awards. The company, which is based in Seamer, Stokesley, also gained a national nomination for people development from the British Chamber of Commerce. Northern Skills Group delivers training for Labman’s ten electrical-mechanical apprentices, who spend one day a week with them. The organisation looks after more than 1,500 North East apprentices, who study skills ranging from engineering and accountancy to hospitality, customer service and leadership/ management. Jamie said: “Northern Skills Group look after the theoretical knowledge that our engineering apprentices need, which sits side-by-side with the practical training we give them. ”The company chooses to work with Northern Skills Group because of the training organisation’s flexibility and willingness to help forge apprenticeships that meet Labman’s particular needs.

Northern Skills Group operating across the region Northern Skills Group operates from offices in Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Durham providing apprenticeships and training from Northumberland right the way down to North Yorkshire and everywhere in between.

Over 150 members of staff helping businesses and learners

Want further advice? Northern Skills Group has a dedicated Business Advice Team who can offer your organisation further advice and guidance on the Apprenticeship Reform and how these funding changes can be used to benefit your business needs. To arrange a chat or company visit with a business adviser: Call: 03453 40 40 40 | Email:

Experts in

Apprenticeships & Training

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Northern Skills Group Newsletter Issue 1  

Northern Skills Group Newsletter Issue 1  

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