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Rising service demand at Tyne Tunnels leads to bumper apprentice recruitment

Traffic at the Tyne Tunnels is up by a fifth since it switched to open-road-tolling – which has led to the recruitment of eight new apprentices – and vacancies for two more – to keep pace with service demand.

During the last 12 months, TT2 which operates the tunnels, has seen a 20% increase in journeys and a cohort of new people join the organisation.

TT2 has formed a partnership with Gateshead-based Access Training to train its latest apprentices, who are forging careers in human resources and business administration via on-the-job and day-release learning at Access’ training centre, on Team Valley.

As well as the eight new apprentices in post, TT2, based in Wallsend, has asked Access Training to recruit two more employees into apprenticeship positions in human resources (Level 3) and project management (Level 4).

TT2, which recently won ‘Great Place to Work’ certification, also employs data analyst, social media, business admin and IT support apprentices.

Nicki Wood, Training Lead at TT2, said: “Apprentices help bring a fresh perspective to the ‘every day’. They are vital in creating diverse thinking in our workforce and bringing us up-to-date theories and perspectives through their learning at Access Training.

“With the launch of open-road-tolling, TT2 recruited over 80 new employees, and thanks to growth of the company and our positive experience of taking on apprentices, we have now added further brand-new roles to teams.”

Phoebe Armstrong, 25, from North Tyneside, recently completed an 18-month apprenticeship in HR with Access Training and is now an Internal Communications Assistant at TT2.

Before her HR apprenticeship, Phoebe worked in a hair salon but when she was furloughed during Covid, she took the opportunity to pursue a career in business by completing a government-funded business admin qualification, which led her to go onto secure an apprenticeship at TT2, which she loves.

Phoebe said: “I wanted to gain a qualification in something I was interested in, whilst also gaining experience and knowledge of the job and being paid.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship experience from start to finish, it really opened my eyes to the world of HR and how an organisation works internally. I was encouraged to push myself out of my comfort zone on a regular basis and this has really helped to grow my confidence.

“To anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship, I’d say definitely go for it! It won’t be something you regret.”

Apprentice Ciara Walker, 24, from South Shields, has just completed her project management level 4 qualification – achieving a merit – and is an assistant project manager at TT2.


Access Training is taking in a new cohort of apprentices for their project management level 4 apprenticeship and also for the human resources level 3 apprenticeship in May and there is also an intake for the human resources consultant partner level 5 in April.

Kerry Burlison, client relationship manager from Access Training said: “Working with TT2 has been a fantastic experience and I’m delighted they have chosen Access to repeat the process.

“It’s very rewarding to see how the apprentices we recruited have developed their knowledge and skills, and how they have added value to their organisation.”


Access Training’s other clients include Newcastle University, Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust, British Engines, KAEFER, Pyrocel Limited, greenbean, and Miller UK Ltd.

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TT2’s Phoebe Armstrong and Access Training’s Kerry Burlison in the control room at TT2.

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