Global Firm Welcomes Nine New Recruits After Skills Bootcamp Boost

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 2nd August 2023

Nine new recruits have been appointed at a major Tees Valley firm with the help of a scheme to boost skills.

Skills Bootcamps are fully funded for learners by the Department for Education, as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, and provided locally through the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Nine talented trainees have now secured employment with industrial giant Altrad after the “Northern Competency Cluster” formed to deliver an innovative skills pathway into the process, engineering, and construction industry through Skills Bootcamps.

This Cluster has seen ConocoPhillips, px Group, SABIC and Venator join forces with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) and NETA Training (a part of the Education Training Collective) to address skills gaps.

And its New Entrant Programme, delivered through Skills Bootcamps, has offered free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks to give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills.

The nine will now receive ongoing support through a collaboration sponsored by Altrad, SABIC, ConocoPhillips and Venator, where they will continue their training on-site as a part of Altrad’s maintenance organisations.

The Combined Authority received £3.5m through Skills Bootcamps – with 1,608 adults expected to be supported.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Home is where the heart is, and giving our young people opportunities to build high quality careers close to home is why I’m delighted we’ve been able to support Skills Bootcamps. We need to nurture our talent to realise the promise of our projects to transform our region into a green energy powerhouse.

“It’s great to see Altrad taking this group on after developing their skills in the programme. I hope it inspires others to follow their lead.”

Skills Bootcamps offer shorter, bespoke programmes of activity that directly meet their skills needs. Partnerships with Net Zero businesses have flourished through the programme to help develop technical and in-demand skills in workers to address gaps.

Tony Jester, Executive Vice President of Operations at Altrad, said: “The collaboration of industry stakeholders played a pivotal role in the success of the programme. By investing in the development of local talent, the programme has not only created employment opportunities but has also contributed to the growth and prosperity of the Teesside area.

“I am keen for the NCC to develop the next cohort of trainees across Teesside and Humberside and to extend the programme to the rest of our operations across the country, such as Fawley, near Southampton.”

Andrew Hockey, CEO at the ECITB, said: “This pilot phase of the Northern Competency Cluster was a real success, bringing much-needed new talent into the industry.

“The ECITB forecasts 25,000 additional workers will be needed for major projects, including those related to net zero, by 2026, placing employers in direct competition for labour from £650bn of infrastructure projects in the wider UK economy.

“It is clear that collaboration between site owners, contractors, local provision and Tees Valley Combined Authority is delivering tangible results in bringing new people into the industry.”

Sean Johnston, director at NETA Training, said: “NETA has provided training to the engineering construction industry for more than 45 years. This bootcamp is another example of how, working with industry, we can tailor our training to support workforce development and bridge skills gaps.”

Learners can access training to support them into work here: and employers with a need or demand to recruit or upskill staff can contact the TVCA at: [email protected]

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