Students and workers to benefit from launch of remote technical skills teaching

20 May 2020

Hundreds of learners and workers are set to benefit from more accessible technical courses, thanks to an innovative approach by Middlesbrough College.

Vital skills training for career starters and existing workers will be delivered digitally, in an industry-leading approach that means learners can pick up qualifications that are the passports to sectors such as electrical engineering, chemical processing, wind energy and manufacturing. 

As lockdown measures are eased and many businesses return to work, Middlesbrough College’s expert team is rolling out a suite of paid courses that can be accessed from home, and promote social distancing.

Steve Ankers, assistant principal - Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction and Building services at Middlesbrough College, explained: “These paid courses have been designed to make sure learners and workers get exactly the same level of tuition, insight and practice that they would normally do in a classroom.

“They’ll get one-on-one time with tutors, access to high value course materials and platforms on which to network and discuss subjects with their classmates. 

“In fact, there are so many additional benefits – in many cases learners can choose different class hours to accommodate work shifts and home life. In some cases, learning materials that would normally be available in the classroom are being provided free of charge and delivered to learners’ homes.”

The courses are being delivered by video conferencing tool Zoom, and the first groups of learners have already received instructions and support from Middlesbrough College staff on how to use the platform. 

Where hands-on training using real equipment is needed, learners will be invited into Middlesbrough College’s state-of-the-art STEM Centre and TTE Technical’s workshop facilities for classes that are adapted for social distancing and promote maximum safety. 

Employers and learners can access a wide range of subjects, including the industry-standard 18th Edition Wiring Regulations for electrical engineers, CITB-CSCS and ECITB-CCNSG Safety Passports and NEBOSH Level 3 Health and Safety Certificate, among many others. 


Keeping our workers safe and job-ready

In addition, the college offers a wide range of cost effective safety courses that support vital skills and knowledge for industrial workplaces. 

Those courses include:

  • Personal Protective Equipment training to ensure workers know when and how to correctly use safety equipment
  • Manual Handling which helps learners protect themselves from injury in the workplace
  • Working at Height to support those going into the likes of the wind energy and engineering sectors
  • Working in Confined Spaces to help learners understand and manage the risks associated with lack of oxygen, high temperature conditions and fire 
  • Workspace Health and Safety which allows workers to get to grips with common site safety systems, and manage wider workplace risks 

On top of that, employers and learners can access many business skills courses to boost additional skills such as customer service, social media administration, sales skills, managing meetings and leadership skills. These courses are recruiting now to help people make themselves more adaptable to the changing workplace practices we’re likely to see after the lockdown. 

The Middlesbrough College team has worked extensively with professional awarding bodies such as City & Guilds, the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) and the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), to make sure the courses are fully accredited. 

Steve added: “A huge amount of work has gone into the content for these courses, which are led by our tutors from industry backgrounds.

“We’re in the midst of a huge change to the way workplaces will operate in the future, and Middlesbrough College is at the forefront, working with employers to create safe, accessible and high quality training.”

As one of the largest technical skills training providers in the country, Middlesbrough College Group includes the main college, apprenticeship training arm Northern Skills Group, and the internationally-renowned TTE Technical. 

The group is at the forefront of adaptation to the post COVID-19 world of work, having swiftly and effectively moved all college students to online learning in early March. 

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College Group, explained: “We’re enormously proud of the way our expect staff and dedicated students adapted to online learning in the early stages of the COVID-19 emergency, and that’s thanks to thorough planning and investment in technology.

“As we move forward, the employers we work with across the region and beyond are beginning to understand more about what their workplaces will look like in the future and how, as skills providers, we can support them.

“This continues to be an unsettling time for employers, workers and students. We want them to know Middlesbrough College Group is here to support their futures.

“These newly adapted courses are built around the exact needs of employers, as reported to us right now, and the requirements of learners who need flexibility and quality at the same time.

“Ahead of welcoming hundreds of new learners in September we’ve made significant investments in our facilities and teaching capabilities across the group offer – keeping us at the forefront of industry.”

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