Cameron lends support to North East Skills Alliance

David Cameron has praised North East industrialists for “leading the way” in forming an Alliance to promote manufacturing and engineering as growth drivers.

He acknowledged the potential of the newly-formed North East Skills Alliance, made up of 12 local authorities, champion employers, business membership organisations, training providers and the National Apprenticeship Service.

Chaired by Kevin Fitzpatrick of Nissan, the Alliance aims to double the number of apprentices recruited across the sector this year, while also taking on more graduates and upskilling existing workforces.

The Prime Minister said: “The North East is leading the way and punching above its weight in manufacturing and engineering.

“We are also supporting the region’s ambition to champion growth through the award of £93m from the Regional Growth Fund to 50 firms and organisations promising at least 8,500 new jobs.

Last month Mr Cameron met with Trevor Arnold MBE, director of engineering consultants PX Limited, to discuss the issue.

Mr Arnold said: “The Prime Minister’s support is very welcome. This is not about politics.

“It is important whoever is in Number 10 understands the issues facing manufacturing and engineering and supports the many companies working to attract investment from across the globe.

“Our region has a proud record and the Alliance is determined to take a common approach to drive home the message that there are excellent career prospects, the potential to tackle unemployment in the long-term and, crucially, the chance to make sure apprentices and existing employees have the skills required to ensure the North East continues to perform as a world class region.”

Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies, is co-ordinating the North East Skills Alliance for Advanced Manufacturing.

The Alliance hopes a series of events, one-to-one visits, business networks and mentoring, forging closer links with schools, colleges and universities and having one point of contact in each area will make it easier for firms to understand the benefits of apprenticeships.

Semta’s UK operations Director Lynn Tomkins added: “To have the Prime Minister’s support is a real plus. Businesses in our advanced manufacturing sector have the opportunity to seize the moment and ensure this region is a driving force for the UK’s economy for years to come. “

Paul ChampionStrategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Sent from my iPad

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