Huntingdon Training Provider Wins International Award

West Anglia Training Association (WATA), based in Hartford, Huntingdon continues to go from strength to strength having recently won the first ever Saudi Arabia Technical Vocational Educational Training Innovation Award held in Jeddah in a competition against worldwide colleges, universities and training providers.

Working in partnership with 2 other training providers, Prospects College and Training 2000, and trading as GTA UK, a proposal was submitted to run a Technical College of Excellence in Saudi Arabia under the” Expanding and Improving Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Wave 2 Project”, a project which will see 26 new colleges built in Saudi Arabia in the next year.

All participants who submitted a successful expression of interest to tender were also invited to take part in the first TVET Saudi Arabia Excellence Lab for Innovation in Jeddah on 7-8 October 2013 aimed at seeking ideas to improve the delivery of vocational training in the Country.

GTA UKs innovation idea was based upon using college infrastructure to deliver real work experience through companies run by learners for the benefit of learners and the local community and, franchising the Colleges of Excellence brand as a mark of excellence.

Competing against 17 other innovative ideas from providers worldwide, GTA UK beat off tough competition from global training providers from countries including Australia, Singapore, America and the UK to win the accolade and was chosen as the winning idea to be implemented in Saudi Arabia next March.

Saudi Arabia

Nigel Donohue, who accepted the award with Steve Gray from Training 2000, said: “I am delighted that our concept has been recognised with the first ever innovation award.

“By working in partnership with Training 2000 and Prospects College we have devised a comprehensive plan of how technical training can be delivered in Saudi Arabia and are thrilled that TVET is bringing the global training industry together to encourage sharing of expertise and skills development across the world.”  We are hopeful that we can now move forward with our ideas and deliver the Group Training Association model in Saudi Arabia as a part of the Colleges of Excellence programme.

(WEST Anglia Training Association(WATA) offers  a wide range of courses to employers, employees and budding apprentices. This membership-led Group Training Association was setup in 1976 by employers – for employers. Its aim is to deliver high quality accredited and bespoke learning at its training facilities, or in the workplace, and has an extensive training portfolio which includes health and safety, environmental, technical, management, quality, engineering and specialist construction skills. WATA supports over 4500 individuals and businesses, as well as more than 200 apprentices in the engineering, warehouse/logistics and construction sectors. As a charity, WATA has constantly invested in its large Hartford centre in Old Houghton Road and has now expanded into new premises in St Margaret’s Way and has recently received planning permission for a new skills building on its Old Houghton Road site).