Quality of training wins praise from inspectors

Suzanne Slater, NECC regional manager for the business and professional sector.
Suzanne Slater, NECC regional manager for the business and professional sector.

The North East Chamber of Commerce has been praised for its training services.

It has been awarded a rating of ‘good’ for its training services by national regulatory service Ofsted.

Inspectors visited NECC, one of the largest independent training providers in the North East, at the end of last year, observing teaching, learning and assessment, and also taking into account feedback from students and employers themselves.

It was one of the first training providers in the UK to be inspected under the new Ofsted framework, launched in September 2015, where good providers must demonstrate their effectiveness in two days or face a lengthier inspection.

Andrew Robson, NECC head of training, said: “I’m extremely proud of our training team and the work we do with our students and businesses across the North East. As a membership organisation, we understand the needs of businesses and our courses are designed to reflect this.

“NECC’s training and educational provision develops highly-skilled employees and ensures businesses benefit from an effective and efficient workforce.”

In a letter, Ofsted inspector Paul Cocker commended NECC on the quality of its training courses.

He said: “NECC’s training team has been relentless in their focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning, leading to the large majority of apprentices completing their programme within the planned timescales.

“Apprentices receive well-planned, off-the-job learning linked to their apprenticeship, which enhances their skills and is suitably applied in the workplace, meeting the apprentices’ and employers’ specific needs.’

Although apprenticeships are a major part of on-the-job training, NECC is also working with companies across the region to up-skill employees of all ages and experience.

Suzanne Slater, regional manager for the business and professional sector for the NECC, works with a number of North East companies that are looking to increase IT skills.

“We are often asked to go into a business and upskill staff in essential IT skills such as using email, the internet and software products such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

“We’re also seeing more demand for IT security training as well as in social media and higher level IT qualifications, such as programming and networking,” she said.