Barbour opens a new training academy at South Shields HQ

Trainees getting used to using the equipment at the Barbour academy. Credit: ITV

Set up in partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education and the Sora Group, the Barbour Academy, it aims to revive interest in careers in the industry by delivering apprenticeships, employability skills and bespoke training for those currently employed or wishing to seek employment in the textile industry.

Around 50 students have been selected to take part in the first Barbour Academy at the South Shields HQ.

It will offer students training in oral, written and communication skills along with support in learning new technical and practical textile skills.

The factory in South Shields employs 150 staff with an additional 250 around the region.

Students at today's press launch said the training project offers them hope for a long-term career.

The company is represented in 40 countries including the USA and Japan with an estimated annual turnover of £89.8 millon based on 2010 data.

Assistant Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education said it has taken more than 12 months of negotiations to secure the partnership.

Watch Richard Salkeld's report here on ITV News Online.