Newcastle College has been awarded the highest major honour for colleges and universities for the development of its Transport Academy.
Established in 2006 to train individuals with the skills required by industry, the Transport Academy – which includes a rail and an aviation centre – has been given the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
The biennial award recognises the college’s collaboration with industry, ensuring that the qualifications and learning environments align with employer demand. It will be presented to Newcastle College at Buckingham Palace in February.
Joe Docherty is the chief executive of NCG, the national college group which includes Newcastle College. He said: “Newcastle College’s Transport Academy is the result of a long-term strategy which aims to support the transport infrastructure of not only the North East but the wider economy.
“In order to make the Transport Academy a success we had to ensure that we recruited the right individuals with strong industry backgrounds to drive this vision forward. Both academies are made up of teaching and support teams that have a vast amount of experience in their respective fields.
“By doing this we have been able to position each Academy at the heart of industry to ensure that those trained within each facility are able to pursue employment opportunities on completion of their college course.”
Newcastle College’s Rail Academy was opened in Gateshead in 2014 with the backing of Network Rail. It followed the model of the Aviation Academy and works closely with CrossCountry and the National Skills Academy for Rail.
Heading the academy is Scott Johnson, who has more than 15 years’ experience in the rail industry in various management roles.
Scott said: “Our aim at the Rail Academy is to be the North of England and Scotland gateway for rail engineering, employment and skills.
“To be awarded such an accolade within three years of opening our doors is a remarkable achievement for all those involved with our Academy.”