The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) will help the North bounce back from COVID-19 by investing in skills training for adults.

It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced government plans to boost the economy by focussing on skills training, education, and apprenticeships. The NTCA controls a £23 million Adult Education Budget (AEB), secured as part of the devolution deal.

It will ensure the AEB is spent more effectively locally, matching the skills and training on offer to the jobs available and to be created in Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Cllr Joyce MaCarty

Cllr Joyce MaCarty

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Employability and Inclusion and Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council Cllr Joyce McCarty said grants and contracts had been awarded to 29 adult education providers, unlocking 37,500 learning opportunities for North of Tyne residents between now and 2021.

She said: “I’d like to congratulate all those who bid successfully to support delivery of AEB funded programmes in the North of Tyne.

“Every day as a result of coronavirus we are seeing pressure on people’s jobs and livelihoods and we’re working hard with providers to ensure we’re responding to the pandemic.

“It’s our role to provide support and stability during these difficult times and beyond and we have the ability to do that with the devolved powers that we have in the North of Tyne. We are able to make a difference locally instead of relying upon centralised budgets and that is well demonstrated here.

“We will work closely with the NTCA provider network to make sure the skills and training offered are flexible.  This will help our residents make the most of the opportunities that are available”

The NTCA Adult Education Budget “goes live” on August 1. It will fund more than 37,500 learning opportunities for residents through this fund in 2020-21.

This will drive residents to increase their skills, with almost half of learning opportunities (nearly 15,000) at Level 2 in 2020-21, up from a third (nearly 10,000) in 2018/19.

Funds will also be targeted at key groups of unemployed residents, supporting in-work progression. Further resources will support residents with acute learning and training needs that are not currently being met.

The Combined Authority is committed to empowering its people with the skills and resources they need to take ownership of their futures and secure good jobs with fair wages.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “Better education leads to better jobs.  We’re supporting people to get more qualified so they can earn more. Our providers are adapting their training to the meet the COVID guidance from government.

Some is being done via mentors and tutors, some via online packages.  And there’s hands-on training, such as getting a goods vehicle driving license.  Times are tough, but we’re here to support our workforce.”

For AEB specific queries please contact: Below are the organisations that NTCA has commissioned to deliver the AEB in 2020/21;

List of organisations