Why the Humber

Education and Talent

Our diverse and skilled workforce adds to the powerhouse that is the Humber region. The Humber continues to benefit from multimillion-pound investments across its world-class educational and training facilities; further demonstrating our commitment to the long-term development of our talent.

We have access to graduates from some of the UK’s leading higher and further education providers – the University of Hull, Hull York Medical School and the University Centre Grimsby alongside our further education colleges. In the Humber you will find the right people with the right skills.

13 min read

Building the World of Work Together

Businesses in the region are invested in the next generation. Our successful training schemes and graduate programmes enable the skilled workforce of the future to contribute to our local economy and stimulate productivity.

The University of Hull has developed strong relationships with some of the region’s biggest employers – from Siemens Gamesa and Ørsted, to Reckitt, Smith+Nephew and CATCH.

Through a variety of unique placement and graduate opportunities, these partnerships hope to ensure the next generation of skilled workers leave University ready to make their mark in the Humber’s business sector.

Working in partnership with Siemens Gamesa, the University of Hull has launched an MSc Master’s Degree Apprenticeship in Offshore Wind Energy Engineering. The course aims to develop the next generation of technical and industry leaders to keep Britain at the forefront of the offshore wind industry.

Hull’s global business, Smith+Nephew, has strong academic links supporting the production of high-tech wound-management products. The University of Hull, which itself completed a £28m investment in a new health campus in 2015, has an ongoing five-year partnership framework with Smith+Nephew.

With a total co-investment of around £3m, the partnership has created unrivalled PhD and research opportunities. Over the last five years, Smith+Nephew has nearly trebled the size of its R&D and clinical teams in Hull, and the single largest source of graduate recruitment to the company in the city is through the University.

Reckitt opened a £105m Science and Innovation Centre in Hull in 2019. This market-leading facility is pioneering research into new products and is one of the largest stability-testing suites in Europe, further strengthening scientific capability in the region and attracting new graduates.

Again, working alongside the University of Hull, and the Hull York Medical School, a new Master’s degree in Pharmacology & Drug Development has been launched in the city, giving students unique access to Reckitt’s £105m flagship centre. The innovative programme is designed to give students an understanding of the entire development journey of a clinical drug – from ‘bench to bedside’ – in turn helping nurture the next generation of talent.

Phillips 66, one of the UK's six main oil refineries, continues to invest in skills for the future across/within the region. As well as partnerships with local colleges, they have a four-year apprenticeship scheme and are proud to employ double the national average of female engineers. The Humber Refinery’s literacy and STEM projects develop skills and highlight careers available in the local chemical and engineering sectors.

Investing in Our Future

The Humber is developing the skilled workforce required for growth today and into the future. University of Hull graduates swell our local talent pool, and ensure that the next generation of future leaders are inspired and prepared for success. Across campus there is evidence of a £300m+ investment in cutting-edge facilities to support first-class learning and research; and sports, arts and cultural development. such as; a new health campus, sports facilities, library, concert venue redevelopment, and revamped coference and dining facilities, This is in addition to a £130m investment in new student campus accommodation.

As the Humber region gears up to become net-zero for carbon emissions by 2040, the University has itself laid out its low-carbon ambitions. Unveiling a bold vision to become carbon neutral by 2027 – also the University’s centenary anniversary – plans centre around a transition to renewable energy sources to power the campus, reducing waste and increasing recycling rates, and encouraging staff to make sustainable travel choices.

The University of Hull’s expertise in energy, flood resilience and risk management are well-established, both through its Energy and Environment Institute and Aura collaboration. Recently, the University of Hull launched a new Master’s degree in Flood Risk Management, one of only a handful of its kind in the UK. In a changing climate, key organisations including the Environment Agency, local authorities and leading consultancies are experiencing a shortage of talented people with the skills required to build resilience into pre-flood event preparation, response and recovery – our region and local University is plugging that gap. The University also remains at the forefront of the flood agenda through FLIC – a £3.4m Flood Innovation Centre launched in 2019 to support small and medium-sized businesses to develop new products and services to help with flood resilience.

Earlier this year, the University unveiled plans for Ark – a £15m National Flood Resilience Centre which would be based in the Humber region. A joint bid with Humberside Fire & Rescue Service, Ark would provide world-leading research and training facilities for flood resilience, providing emergency services and organisations with a place to simulate flood events in urban areas.

Collaboration is key when making investments which will shape the future of our region. When Aura, a University-led initiative, completed work on its £12m Innovation Centre in Hessle, it created a space for SMEs working in renewables to collaborate, innovate, and create the solutions needed to transition to a low-carbon economy.

Case Studies

Train Further

The Humber region’s workforce is in global demand across linked industry sectors. Significant private investment and government funding is helping to drive the Humber region’s prosperity, with industry-leading developments placing the spotlight on the region’s rich ambition. As a result, an abundance of post-academic training facilities has been specially developed, where educational partners are linking with employers to capitalise on this resurgence of the Humber’s industries, including energy, chemical and renewable energy. 

Hull’s £10m business-backed Ron Dearing University Technical College provides students with an employer-driven technical and vocational education. Backed by the University of Hull and some of the region’s leading employers such as KCOM, Reckitt, Smith+Nephew, Siemens Gamesa and Spencer Group, students get the unique experience of working on exciting projects and the opportunity of full-time employment. 

HETA , the leading engineering training provider in the Yorkshire and Humber region, provides industry upskilling courses for employees and apprenticeships for students, putting an average of 600 level-3 engineering apprentices through a three-year training programme. HETA partners with 400+ companies to supply expert industry training courses, 90% of these are based within the Humber including the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Reckitt, Centrica, AAK, Smith+Nephew and Yorkshire Water.

FE & HE Colleges

The Humber has an excellent spread of further and higher education colleges. Between them, they offer a wide range of vocational and academic subjects covering many specialist industry sectors. These colleges have strong links to the business community, regionally and nationally, enabling students to combine classroom learning with work experience. 

Bishop Burton College is the best land-based college in the UK, specialising in agriculture, equine, animal management and sport. The college has a world-class equine facility and outstanding sporting partnerships with the likes of Hull City AFC. Benefitting from working on a real commercial farm, the college is a Centre of Vocational Excellence for Agriculture and Equine. A £1.7m investment into a new training facility and precision farming technologies will be used to develop high level agricultural skills training and help tackle climate change.

Wilberforce Sixth Form College offers high-quality teaching and resources to facilitate students’ progression to top universities and worthwhile careers. 2018 witnessed the college achieve its best A-level results to date, with an impressive 99.8% pass rate. Their engineering and digital courses have also been recognised nationally in the top 5%. Wilberforce College recently opened a flood-themed community hub and learning laboratory to raise awareness of flooding and how to reduce flood risk.

North Lindsey College , Scunthorpe, is the largest provider of further education (post-16), apprenticeships and training in Northern Lincolnshire. The college has key employer partnerships including Siemens Gamesa, Total LOR and Tronox, delivering a range of apprenticeship programmes to meet employer needs.

CATCH is a leading not-for-profit, technical training organisation for the process, energy, engineering and renewables industries. Catch offers contextualised training using ex-industry professionals for all of our provision to ensure the delegate has a high quality experience. The Stallingborough site boasts impressive training facilities including a live operational process plant with control room, bunded tank farm, DCS simulator and confined space entry zone as well as engineering workshops and classrooms.

Modal Training Centre is a centre of excellence for maritime, logistics and safety training and home to the Humber Maritime College. Modal Training is a specialist training centre for the maritime, offshore, ports and logistics sectors. The immersive, state of the art technology allows a number of variables to be adapted to an individual training need. The type of vessel, weather, route, and port can all be changed instantly to cater to the training experience required. The facilities and training are available for use for individuals, students and companies looking to upskill members of their workforce.

Other superb HE and FE providers in the Humber include Hull College , Grimsby Institute , and East Riding College .

Top Class

With high-achieving secondary schools and contemporary academies offering state-of-the-art teaching facilities that are designed to propel students into vocational careers, many of the region’s schools have been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.”

Malet Lambert School in Hull was the first school in the UK to be accredited with the Institute of Education Business Excellence ‘Business Ready’ award, the new employability standard for schools. 

The Humber has some of the highest achieving independent schools in the country, with top league table results, world class facilities and excellent holistic pastoral care.

Tranby is one of the leading independent schools in East Riding of Yorkshire where pupils flourish, develop as individuals and acquire the necessary skills to prepare themselves for future employment. With a proven track record of excellent academic results, the school has a reputation for consistently achieving excellence in GCSE and A-level results year on year. Following their most recent inspection in 2019, the school was awarded ‘excellent’ ratings throughout all areas.

Other excellent schools in our region include public school Hymers College , St Mary’s College , Hull Trinity House Academy , South Hunsley School, Beverley Grammar School and Beverley High School .

We are delighted to be working with one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy, working with them to attract the brightest minds who will be at the forefront of creating green energy for future generations. .

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Hull

After evaluating several global sites, Hull was selected based on the excellent talent pool.

Clare Walker, R&D Group Category Director, Reckitt

Our Master’s students study at the cutting edge of Flood Risk Management and Renewable Energy. Our PhD students conduct life-changing research which aims to mitigate environmental threats such as climate change. Their work drives the agenda to help understand how best we protect our planet.

Dr David Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, University of Hull

The University of Hull has been named in the top 50 UK institutions for research power by the Times Higher Education and welcomes students from more than 100 countries.”

Bishop Burton College is rated in the top 5% of colleges nationally”

The amount of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ secondary schools in Hull soared above the national average according to Ofsted in 2018.”

The World Needs The Humber

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