From an ex-Apprentice to CEO; GTA England welcomes Lee Childs

After leaving school, Lee Childs joined Black & Decker in Spennymoor as an engineering apprentice and spent his first three months learning basic skills at South West Durham Training in Newton Aycliffe.

Now, 16 years later, he has returned to take over as chief executive from Trevor Alley, who has moved on after a successful two years at the helm which saw, GTA England member, SWDT named one of the highest performing engineering training providers in the country.

Lee, from Shildon, said: “I am an engineer – that’s my background, that’s what I trained as – and I’m very passionate about apprenticeship training and vocational skills. High quality apprenticeships are an absolute must for the future success of manufacturing and engineering in the country; we need to invest in the training of young people. Our trainees are equally passionate – they come here to secure jobs and we want to get them all into employment while providing the training services our employers need.”

In July 2014 SWDT received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report, receiving the top grade in all four categories: overall effectiveness; outcomes for learners; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; and effectiveness of leadership and management.

Last month, the centre, which employs 27 staff and has over 100 trainees, welcomed new apprentices from Hitachi, Cummins, Glaxo, 3M, Cleveland Bridge and Nifco. All are on engineering/manufacturing programmes with bespoke elements required by their employer, including hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical, fabrication and welding.

Subscribe to news & updates