National training provider, Learning Curve Group (LCG), gave local employers their first look at the brand new Business Academy in Darlington this week, as it was officially opened by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

The new academy aims to close the business and digital skills gaps that many employers across the region have experienced, by giving learners the skills, qualifications and digital awareness to succeed in the modern-day workplace.

Over 70 local business owners and employers came to LCG’s open event which was held at The Old Exchange, Barnard Street, Darlington. Employers were able to see the purpose-built collaborative space where learners will be studying a range of business courses including Digital Marketing, Software Development, Cyber Security and more. The Academy will be welcoming over 100 learners in September and has created 8 jobs for local people.

Mayor Houchen, who works tirelessly to improve the skills of people in the region, came to the event to show his support and cut the ribbon to launch the academy. He said: “Learning Curve Group have created an amazing facility which will meet the needs of both young people and businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. It is important that education and training meets the needs of employers to enable businesses to thrive and young people to  secure high-quality, well-paid jobs right here in the region. I am looking forward to seeing the impact that Learning Curve Group’s new Business Academy has on our area and the skilled workforces they develop for our brilliant local businesses and the soon-to-arrive Government departments.”

The Academy has been designed to suit the needs of young people wanting to gain skills by giving them hands-on experience to keep them engaged. The Academy has a specially designed interactive cyber room where learners will develop their coding and cyber security knowledge. These interactive learning experiences offered at LCG’s Academy will give learners a taste of a real life working environment.

CEO of LCG, Brenda McLeish, was at the open event to present how LCG can support businesses by building a future workforce of skilled individuals. “I am so excited to welcome Darlington’s business owners into our state of the art Business Academy. We wanted to create an inspiring learning environment for the young people of Tees Valley to be able to learn sector specific skills which will set them up for a successful career.

By working with employers in the local area, we can find out exactly what skills they are looking for and tailor our training to match this so our learners can progress into employment. We want to ensure that young people have the opportunities to succeed in the modern day workforce.”

The Business Academy is LCG’s 17th skills based academy. The training provider has academies based all across the country from Gateshead to London, covering a range of sectors including Hair and Beauty, Uniformed Services, Construction and more. Every year LCG supports over 200,000 learners with their provision whilst also working with over 4,500 businesses to help them achieve success through upskilling their workforce through various training programmes.