Partnership with global leader powers ahead


NORTH-EAST England Chamber of Commerce campaigns to ensure everyone working in the region has the right skills for their career path and there is a pipeline of skilled workers for future employers’ needs.

One example of how our region is tackling the requirements of successful companies is Derwentside College’s work with Cummins.

The college, in Consett, has strengthened its partnership with Darlington-based Cummins, the global power company. The latest development will see the college provide training to 20 existing members of Cummins staff. Seventeen are being up-skilled in HNC/HND level mechanical engineering qualifications, with a further three attending Derwentside College for technical support qualifications.

This follows on from the success of the recent two-week apprenticeship academy, which saw Derwentside College successfully undertake the selection and recruitment of four candidates to a four-year apprenticeship standard at Cummins.

Lisa Waller, head of business development at Derwentside College, said: “Cummins is a global leader in their sector, with the need for a highly skilled workforce to compete internationally. They have a strong commitment to upskilling their existing workforce through focused training and development.

"Having worked with the Cummins management team on the successful apprenticeship academy, we have been able to get to know the organisation well and fully understand their training needs.

“Through investing time in building a strong relationship we have been able to develop a bespoke training package, tailored specifically to Cummins’ business needs. Our Business Development Team has acted as a partner to Cummins in providing advice and guidance on not just the delivery of training, but also on funding options and how best they can use their apprenticeship levy funds.

“We started the latest phase of partnership by undertaking a training needs analysis to investigate the training requirements at Cummins.

"This required us having a comprehensive understanding of what Cummins are looking to achieve, both in the short-term and in support of their longer term business objectives.

"In undertaking the analysis one of the key aspects that we became aware of was the time constraints, so the 17 staff involved in the mechanical engineering programme will be undertaking the training onsite at the Cummins Engine Plant in Darlington.

"This has enabled the staff involved to save time as they aren’t required to travel for the training, and we have therefore been able to maximise the value of the time they have available.”

Tom Partridge, product development director at Cummins, said: “The success of our product development team is dependent on recruiting and developing quality staff to manage the ever changing needs of our customers, the added complexity of our products due to low emissions, and the growth in alternative power beyond diesel.

"Having Derwentside College as a partner to support this is good for our business.”

One of the Cummins employees starting a HNC, David Craggs said: “Having been given the opportunity to further my education I am excited to start my HNC in mechanical engineering with Derwentside College. Cummins are investing in me and other employees which will benefit the product development team and potentially turn jobs into careers.”

Ms Waller added: “The partnership with Cummins is a great example of how we are working collaboratively with an apprenticeship levy-paying organisation, delivering innovative solutions that add tangible value to their organisation. We are hugely excited about the partnership and how we can work together to deliver further training and development solutions that meet their specific business requirements.”