Gold standard education and training is available on Teesside thanks to an array of specialist courses at Middlesbrough College.
As the only general further education college in the Tees Valley to secure gold status in the national Teaching Excellence Standard Framework, Middlesbrough College is also in the top 20 per cent of higher education providers in the country.
The high standard is driven by the college’s expert tutors – many of them from industry backgrounds.
Take Kevin Dunn, curriculum team leader for Welding and Fabrication, who spent more than 15 years as a welder and supervisor for engineering companies in the region and overseas.
Kevin has helped countless students build the practical skills and knowledge they need to get that first foot on the career.
Most recently 18-year-old Jack Moran proved Middlesbrough College students are head and shoulders above the rest as he took home the top prize at the Inter College Welding Competition.
Jack, a Level 2 Welding student, was accompanied by classmate Curtis Marsh in second place.
He said: “The facilities at Middlesbrough College also shone through on the day and I realised what an amazing environment we have here. I think that is why Curtis and I did so well.”
And academic students also see successes thanks to the gold standard teaching and facilities.
Languages student Helena Newton is now studying at York University following her time at MC6 – Middlesbrough College’s dedicated sixth form.
She said: “The experience at MC6 was fantastic.
“My classes were relatively small which is really good for languages as it means I got more time with the teachers, and that’s really brought my French on.”
In the College’s 156-seat commercial theatre, complete with sound and lighting capabilities, music and theatre students studying a variety of industry-led courses are shaping careers.
The mix of learning and experience-building has proven to be worth its weight in gold for Middlesbrough College students.
Emily Baxter, 19, has been accepted to the prestigious LAMDA theatre school – whose alumni include the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
And 17-year-old Lydia Holford has secured a place at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and is preparing for an interview at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in the hope of entering a career in the West End.
She said: “I’ve always enjoyed being a part of this industry and have worked at Middlesbrough Theatre since the age of 15 in a variety of roles including set production and sound management.
“Studying at Middlesbrough College has allowed me to take these skills to the next level, developing management skills when working on live shows.”
To top it off the College is home to award-winning student services – making the learning experience an even better fit.
Recently Middlesbrough’s Wellbeing Team picked up the top award at the National Association for Managers of Student Services Award Ceremony for its efforts in providing specialist mental health support.