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Students supercharge careers in construction at Middlesbrough College

21 Jan 2022
HTQs Students outside STEM centre

Bright spark students are building their dream careers in construction thanks to higher technical training delivered at Middlesbrough College.   

The College is taking the lead when it comes to delivering higher technical qualifications (HTQs) – a high-quality and prestigious choice for learners, among other routes such as apprenticeships or degrees. 

HTQs are new or existing Level 4 and 5 qualifications, such as HNDs, Foundation Degrees and Higher Education Diplomas, that have been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education as meeting occupational standards for the relevant sector. Designed in collaboration with industry-leading employers and businesses, courses give students the specific training, knowledge and skills required for their chosen career. 

So how can students take advantage of this specialist training and supercharge their careers in construction? 

Technical training takes you higher 

While HTQs are set to be rolled out over the next two years, Middlesbrough College is already delivering high-quality technical training with courses like its HNC in Engineering (Construction and The Built Environment) offering learners a unique insight in the world of construction. 

HNCs are vocationally orientated qualifications specifically designed to provide practical, industry related skills to both college leavers and those already working in a job who require new skills.  

Michael Stonehouse,19, from Redcar enrolled on the course having already completed a BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment at the College. With a number of routes available to him, Michael was attracted to the idea of being able to work while studying for his HNC part time.      

He said: “This course has been perfect for me – I was able to secure an apprenticeship alongside my studies and I’m putting into practice what I’m learning as I go along – making me more employable. 

“I already had an understanding of the fundamentals of the construction industry, but this course is giving me the higher-level, technical skills and knowledge I need to progress into a senior level role – which I’m hoping to secure once I’ve completed my HNC. 

“My dad and uncle both work in the construction industry and I’ve always wanted to follow in their footsteps – thanks to Middlesbrough College, I’m already doing that.” 

Building your dream career 

Michael’s classmate Abigail Ferguson was studying A Levels at a different college when the pandemic hit, and she decided that route wasn’t for her. The 20-year-old from Darlington then started working for her family’s construction business – J Ferguson Limited – and enrolled on the HNC course at Middlesbrough College to develop her industry skills and knowledge. 

She said: “I’ve loved every minute of my time at the College. I’d 100% recommend it to anyone else wanting to build their dream career in construction. 

“Having the option to study part time has offered the perfect balance between higher education and on-the-job learning – both really complement each other – and for me, it has been the best route to upskill in the sector while forging a career for myself here. 

“My grandad started the company back in 1972, and since then my family have grown the business to deliver contracts across Teesside for both the private and public sector ranging from small local businesses to leading multi-national companies. 

“Middlesbrough College is helping me build the skills and confidence I need to be able to help the business grow even further.” 

Enhance your career prospects 

A HNC award opens up the possibility of a career in a wide range of engineering disciplines including design, manufacturing, project management and IT. Successful students may also choose to progress to the HND Engineering (Construction and The Built Environment). 

Delivered over one or two years, the programme is IoT (Institute of Technology) recognised, guaranteeing you outstanding technical training. 

Charles Thomas, lecturer at Middlesbrough College, said: “HNCs give learners an industry-recognised higher education qualification, without having to commit to a full degree. 

“The courses are delivered by expert trainers, most of whom – including myself – come from industry backgrounds, using some of the best facilities in the country in which to give learners the skills that employers demand. 

“It’s the perfect stepping stone to a more senior role in the industry.” 

As part of the North East Institute of Technology (IoT) – a collaboration between further education providers, universities and employers – Middlesbrough College is the sole deliver of IoT accredited courses in the Tees Valley in disciplines such as such as construction, engineering, business management and digital. 

Having the prestigious Institute of Technology status gives the promise to its students and employers that the College delivers high-quality technical qualifications and bespoke training to provide a route for people of all ages and existing employees to gain industry specific skills. 

The exciting range of IoT accredited courses at Middlesbrough College range from Level 3 to Level 6 and include specialisms such as electrical and electronic engineering, manufacturing engineering, building services engineering, civil engineering, construction management, business and computing. 

The College’s unrivalled £20m STEM Centre was recently expanded to include a dedicated higher educational environment in a technical setting. The purpose-built University Centre features a bespoke higher education study area, classrooms and tutorial zones, with easy access to the technical and specialist industry equipment and facilities required for a range of technical courses. 

Find out more about Higher Technical Qualifications here.

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