Ben Gilhespy, Operations Director of the Engineering and Manufacturing Network (EMN), welcomed today’s Government announcement that one of the 12 new “Institutes of Technology” is being located in the region and created at New College Durham.

He said: “EMN has a long-standing and successful relationship with New College and have been supporting them with their bid to be chosen as a hub for the new Institutes of Technology, so we’re delighted to hear today’s announcement by the Prime Minister.

“The institute will bring together a number of partner organisations and regional businesses to develop and nurture the skills and technical capabilities of the young people who come through its doors, providing them with a high-quality vocational alternative to universities.

“The ethos of the institute is to equip students with the training, capabilities and attitude which employers across the region are crying out for, plugging the skills gap which still exists within many of our industries.

“It’s going to be a fantastic and much-needed addition to the educational and industrial sectors and one which will only strengthen the North East’s position as a global leader within manufacturing and technology.”