College academy trains next generation of engineers

REVAMPED ACADEMY: From left, Mecaplast UK's David Cann, East Durham College principal Suzanne Duncan, Technical Academy Centre manager Rob Hutchinson and Ford Aerospace's Geoff Ford
REVAMPED ACADEMY: From left, Mecaplast UK's David Cann, East Durham College principal Suzanne Duncan, Technical Academy Centre manager Rob Hutchinson and Ford Aerospace's Geoff Ford

A STATE of the art facility to train the next generation of engineers was relaunched this week.

The Technical Academy in Peterlee has undergone an extensive makeover to keep up with what employers need.

Part of East Durham College, the academy offers training programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds in a number of areas including welding, plumbing, engineering, automotive and construction.

Re-developed to specifically meet the needs of local employers, the academy will give young people the hands-on experience needed to be industry ready and classroom learning to get them to the level required to fully qualify in their chosen vocation.

The re-launch gave local employers the chance to look around and meet staff and students.

Guest speakers, Geoff Ford MBE, chairman of South Tyneside manufacturing company, Ford Aerospace, and David Cann, general manager of Peterlee car parts manufacturer, Mecaplast UK, were impressed with the new facilities.

Geoff, talked about the challenges and opportunities the North East faces within the engineering and manufacturing sectors and praised college for being so important to the region’s continued growth.

He said: “It’s vital that we invest in young people now to help address the skills gap which is evident across the North East.”

Rob Hutchinson, manager at The Technical Academy, said: “We’ve re-developed the building to improve the facilities on offer and we’ve also expanded the curriculum to make sure we’re ideally placed to meet the needs of businesses in the area.”