NEWCASTLE-headquartered college group NCG has joined the Government’s Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme.

As England’s largest college group NCG will be part of the network of organisations that aims to build a more prosperous north.

The move coincides with the first cohort of students to start a new offshore renewables and sub-sea engineering course – a collaboration by Newcastle College, one of NCG’s seven colleges, and leading UK offshore energy support base, the Port of Blyth.

This month 25 students began the two-year course that covers engineering product design and manufacture, electrical power distribution and computer-aided design, and will provide a route into careers in the energy sector.

Liz Bromley, chief executive of NCG, pointed to the new course as evidence of the role further education providers can play in responding to the social and economic needs of local communities.

Liz said:
“We’re really excited to become a Northern Powerhouse partner organisation as NCG is uniquely placed to support the growth of regional economies by applying our nationally leading skills and expertise at a local level.

“Our organisational purpose is to unlock potential through learning. We do this by understanding what employers need and bridging the gap between education and business.

“We’ll bring this knowledge to the Northern Powerhouse table, and work with our fellow partners to make sure we’re creating the right skills that can stimulate economic growth.

“Realising the potential of the north through investment in skills is a huge opportunity – and NCG will lead the way.”

“The North deservedly has a reputation for high-quality further education institutions so it’s great to see NCG become the latest member of our expanding network of over 300 partners.

“They have an impressive footprint across the Northern Powerhouse with headquarters in Newcastle and colleges in Carlisle and West Lancashire so are in an enviable position to provide people with the skills and training they need to get good, well-paid jobs as we prepare to take advantage of the global opportunities available when we get Brexit done and take our country forward.

“Their contribution will build on over £750 million of Local Growth Fund investment in the North-East, Cumbria and Lancashire as we work together to level up the whole North and every place in the UK.”

NCG – a group of seven colleges including Newcastle, Carlisle and West Lancashire within the Northern Powerhouse area – helps thousands of people begin careers each year and works with businesses from FTSE100 giants to regional small businesses.

It delivers a broad range of industry-leading training programmes including apprenticeships, further and higher education courses.

All are designed in collaboration with businesses so that specific skills gaps are met and a sustainable workforce is created.