A college and training provider in the North-east have joined forces to boost vocational training and tackle skills shortages in the region.
Stockton Riverside College and NETA Training Trust, both of which are rated good by Ofsted, have announced a merger after more than a year of talks.
They said the move would help both organisations achieve their future growth plans while meeting the region’s business needs and the demands of the community.
Stockton Riverside College principal Phil Cook said the news was “very exciting”.
“We are confident that together we will be stronger, sustainable and have the opportunity to further develop and grow high quality skills training into the future,” he added.
The NETA Training Trust has provided engineering and vocational training in the region for 40 years.
Chief executive Mr Ramsay said the two organisations had found the “best possible way” to ensure high-quality training for the region.
“Businesses will be able to take full advantage of the strengths of both organisations as we continue to expand our services,” he said.
“This is something that would not have been possible for NETA or the college to achieve alone.”
The merger was welcomed by local business leaders, who said it would help address skills shortages in the region.
Last month, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it woudl be embarking on a series of area-based reviews, which would be likely to result in “fewer, larger, more resilient and efficient providers”.