The launch took place at the College's Kirkley Hall campus,
where business professionals and partners found out about the new
venture and talked to the first cohort of Career College land-based
and rural tourism students.
Career Colleges provide young people with the opportunity to
combine academic studies with high quality practical learning,
within a specific industry.
A range of employers have helped to design and deliver the
Northumberland Career College curriculum, to ensure students will
develop skills that are wholly current and relevant to the world of
The launch event, which attracted business leaders from across
the region, saw guest speakers including Northumberland Tourism
Director, Jude Leitch and Northumberland College's Chair of
Governors, Jacqui Henderson, outline the benefits of Career
Colleges to high achieving students.
Lord Baker, founder of the Career Colleges Trust, said: "It is
absolutely vital that young people are given the option to study in
a more practical way from the age of 14. Career Colleges are
underpinned by a firm academic curriculum to ensure that students
are equipped with all the skills they need to succeed.
"Many industries face huge skills gaps and we simply won't be
able to fill these gaps if we don't improve vocational and
technical training in this country.
"I am delighted to see Northumberland College launching such an
innovative Career College, focusing on industries which are so
important to the region. I wish them and their students much
success going forward."
Applications to Northumberland Career College are now open to
those aged 16 to 18, in land-based and rural tourism specialisms.
Growth plans will introduce further courses within construction,
engineering and hospitality for 2017. The plans are backed by
leading employers including Northumberland Tourism, Banks Mining,
Think IT and Arch.
Marcus Clinton, Principal of Northumberland College, said: "Our
Career College course provision is being designed with input from
employers to ensure students' learning is completely relevant to
our specialist industry sectors.
"We already offer vocational learning to thousands of learners
post sixteen, but by 2017 those aged 14 will have the choice to
study at our Career College."
Northumberland Career College's specialisms reflect growth in
the North East economy for tourism and hospitality as well as
skills shortages within construction, engineering and animal
Latest figures indicate an 18% increase in jobs in tourism
within Northumberland over the next five years, growth in day
visitors to 7.6m and in visitors from outside the North East to
The number of people, aged 65-plus, within the agriculture and
animal care sector is set to increase by 60 per cent by 2035 with
the number of working age adults falling steadily over the same
period, which could result in significant skills shortages.
Jude Leitch, Director of Northumberland Tourism said: "Tourism
is one of Northumberland's most important industries, employing
over 13,000 people. The new Career College, with its ethos of
developing courses in partnership with employers, will provide a
valuable career path for young people enabling them to develop the
skills businesses value whilst helping those businesses access the
staff they need to prosper."
Ruth Gilbert, Chief Executive of the Career Colleges Trust,
said: "I am delighted to see the opening of another Career College,
expanding our network further. Northumberland College has
identified a number of growing industries in and around the local
region, which will be facing skills shortages over the coming
"Together with Northumberland College, our aim is to ensure that
young people have access to high quality, employer-led training
within industries that offer plentiful career pathways and
opportunities - which is exactly what will be provided here.
"Additionally, Career Colleges encourages students to develop
their digital and entrepreneurial skills - giving them an even
broader skill set and ensuring they are fully prepared for the
world of work."
To find out more please visit www.northumberland.ac.uk/career-college.