East Durham College and AIS Connect join forces in game-changing partnership

A revolutionary new deal between industrial training specialist AIS Connect and East Durham College will see hundreds of new world-class apprenticeships developed for industry.

The unique strategic partnership between Advanced Industrial Solutions’s education division – Connect - and East Durham College will initially focus on four key apprenticeship areas: welding, fabrication, engineering and technical support with a view to extending this in the near future.

It is believed to be the first agreement of its kind to give the learner the very best academic and commercial skills training combined and to put the needs of employers at its heart. Apprentices benefit from the skills training expertise of AIS Connect, which trains more than 25,000 commercial delegates every year, and the academic experience of East Durham College.

The apprenticeships will be delivered in AIS Connect world class state-of-the-art 20-acre industrial training village, where the facilities mirror real industrial environments and scenarios which apprentices will face in the workplace. For the first time, apprentices will also have access to innovative tools such as virtual reality and online career planning through AIS Training's existing commercial service offer.

Kate Lovelock, Head of Partnerships and Strategic Development at AIS Connect said: “This agreement is a game-changer for apprenticeships. It represents a truly innovative public and private sector partnership which gives the learner an outstanding mix of both education and commercial expertise.

“Changes in the way apprenticeships are funded by government mean that those involved in delivery need to be closely aligned and visionary about future skills requirements in industry.  Under the new government levy, there will be no upper age limit and employers will be free to choose where their apprentices learn or existing staff are upskilled. Our unique partnership will place employers' requirements at the heart of apprenticeships and we will respond rapidly to any employer's needs. Our apprentices will emerge with a combination of educational qualifications and recognised industry certificates.

“AIS Connect knows what employers need from their workforce as we train thousands of delegates in the highest industry standards day-in, day-out and have invested heavily in world-class facilities. Since we launched our AIS Connect brand to train young people we have also had considerable success in helping young talent make that first important step into industry. This expertise combined with East Durham College’s success in training young people in the highest educational and vocational standards will enable us to develop and deliver the very best apprenticeships on the market today.”

Anthony Mills, Director of Employer Engagement at East Durham College, said: “We are delighted to build on the successful partnership we already have with AIS Connect to provide more outstanding apprenticeship opportunities. These will complement and enhance the existing programmes we are currently delivering as part of our partnership.

“The expertise both organisations can bring to this partnership will help create a unique opportunity for businesses and the apprentices involved. Together we are confident that we can provide the region’s employers with an unrivalled apprenticeship offer which will address their current and future skills needs and deliver a truly world-class training package.”

For employers interested in finding out more about the apprenticeships on offer and the new Government levy, AIS Connect is holding an event on Tuesday 28th February between 9am-11am at AIS Connect To find out more or to book a place please contact (0191) 341 0250 or email traineeships@ais-conect.co.uk