Skills & Talent

First class skills

North East England has a long tradition of manufacturing and advanced manufacturing in the automotive sector and associated supply chain. This has created a productive, innovative and highly skilled workforce with low staff turnover rates and competitive salary levels.

With more than 116,000 in manufacturing roles across the region, around 69,000 of those are specialist workers in advanced manufacturing businesses and over 30,000 in the automotive sector.

Skills are embedded within our electrification industry-led ecosystem, providing leadership at both regional and national level. The network is collaborative and highly responsive to changing demands, new technologies and innovation.

A pipeline of talent

There is a comprehensive skills provider base in the region, with industry-engaged universities and a college network that delivers sector-focused higher education (HE) and further education (FE) vocational skills to the manufacturing sector. The education and skills network works hand in hand with industry and business to develop and deliver bespoke training courses.

  • Local colleges and universities offer over 300 advanced manufacturing-related courses, many of which are integrally linked to the prospective job market.
  • Over 120,00 students in the North East at the region’s five universities, with over half studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and around 3,000 graduating from an engineering discipline each year.
  • Across the wider skills ecosystem, there is the opportunity to collaborate with providers such as The Faraday Institution which has a base in the North East, co-located with Newcastle University, and plays a key role in the National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum as well and playing a leading role in the North East Battery Alliance.
  • North East Workforce Skills delivered by a consortium of further and higher education training providers in the North East funds upskilling support for regional businesses
  • Emerging Skills Project led by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, this unique collaborative project between the Institute of Technology and partners aims to co-develop new learning modules and training course focusing on new and emerging technologies.

Britishvolt and Northumberland College – Case Study

Northumberland College have signed an agreement with battery pioneer Britishvolt, to provide skills training to some of the 3,000 people who will work at the company’s huge new gigaplant.  The college will provide training for entry-level apprentices at Britishvolt – operators on the production line and engineering technicians. Ahead of the gigaplant starting up production, a pilot engineering technician apprenticeship programme will also start. 

Britishvolt Logo
Northumberland College Logo

Gateshead College and Nissan – Case Study

Nissan and Gateshead College have a longstanding relationship for the training and development of staff at its Sunderland Plant. Over recent years, the two organisations have worked together to develop the Gateshead College Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI), Zero Emission Centre of Excellence (ZECE), and through the college’s lease of the test track at Nissan Sunderland Plant for the Zero Carbon Futures Performance Track for the low carbon vehicle industry. 

Nissan Case Study