In our latest It’s My Business feature, we chat to Andy Buckworth, who has returned as centre manager for the newly re-branded TTE facility in Peterlee.

TTE acquired Infinite Learning and Development last year as part of its plans for continued growth within the training industry and tempted Andy back to the company to manage the centre, which was officially launched as TTE earlier this year.

Tell us more about your decision to return to TTE?

I worked for the company’s Teesside facility for 22 years and was instrumental to the success of its centre in Azerbaijan, which trained BP personnel for the oil and gas industry. That was a fantastic experience though tough too.

After that and prior to re-joining TTE, I also helped to establish a college-based facility on Teesside and was head of a technical training academy in Aberdeen.

However, when TTE confirmed the acquisition of ILD in Peterlee, which also includes the Weld Academy, it felt like the right role to come back to.

Tell us more about the Peterlee facility?

The centre specialises in fabrication and welding and business improvement techniques in addition to a specialism in Simulated Working Environments (SWE) for businesses across the UK including Caterpillar, Asda and Warburton’s.

More than 7,000 delegates have been trained on the SWE in the past five years from a diverse range of industries and organisations such as SABIC, GSK, Siemens, Volvo, KP Foods and Barbour.

What are your priorities in your role as Centre Manager?

I am very keen to attract more talented young people through our doors, equipping them with the skills and training that employers are crying out for.

I am only too aware that there is still a gap when it comes to industry recruitment and that’s something I am keen to change – I don’t want people to come through our training then wonder where they’re going to get a job; I want to identify where there are employment gaps and opportunities and offer bespoke training which fits exactly with those needs. That way we’re giving our recruits every chance of finding employment at the end off their time with us.

You’re keen to engage with local businesses, aren’t you?

Very much so yes. There’s been a common misconception historically that ILD was part of Caterpillar and that’s not the case. So, in my new role I am getting myself involved with the Peterlee Business Park Group and trying to meet with as many local businesses as possible. I want them to see what we can offer and am keen to establish relationships which will benefit both employers in the area and young people who are keen to go down the vocational route to work.