Tourism and jobs boost in NE, thanks to new apprenticeship centre

A town in County Durham has set up an apprenticeship academy to train locals for up to 100 new jobs that are expected to be generated by major tourism development.

Auckland Academy has launched in Bishop Auckland, and will provide apprenticeships in hospitality, tourism, cultural heritage, administration, events and promotion, and customer service, among other subjects.

The facility is a joint venture between Bishop Auckland College and Auckland Castle, which is behind a multi-million pound development to drive tourism and bolster opportunities for the community.

Natalie Davison, principal and chief executive of Bishop Auckland College, said: “Auckland Academy is an excellent joint initiative between the college and the castle, which will create dozens of apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers in a wide range of areas from horticulture to hospitality at a very exciting time for the town.”

The latest apprentice to sign up to the initiative is Rebecca Elliott, 17, who works in the castle’s finance department. She said: “I would strongly recommend an apprenticeship. I am learning and progressing within my role, have a good work/life balance and feel a lot more secure than if I had chosen to go to university with the financial burden it brings.”

The academy is currently taking applications for its September cohort of trainees.