The TDR Trust

TDR was conceived and launched by industry in the 1990s with the primary objective of creating a world-class skills pool to sustain the people needs of the engineering industry. It is a charitable trust supported by TDR Training – a wholly-owned trading subsidiary – guaranteeing that TDR remain independent, forward-thinking and sustainable.

Since its inception, TDR has been acknowledged as a leading source of advice, support, learning, training and people development for engineering, manufacturing and science. Strategic partnerships, with employers and other charities whose objectives align with TDR, have underpinned its development and growth, and its heritage goes back much further than the 1990s.

Over a hundred years earlier, in 1882, William Doxford, one of the great Victorian engineers, established the North East Coast Engineering Trust. His vision was to establish a legacy that would ensure engineering skills were passed on to future generations and he provided a skills fund for that purpose. In 2002, with their shared aim of inspiring young people to embark on a career in science and engineering, TDR partnered with Doxford’s charity providing support and resources, and in 2009 concluded a full merger.

Ron Dodd MBE, was a founding member of the TDR Trust and he generously donated a funds package to establish a scholarship programme. TDR training matched the investment from its own resources, and established a scholarship investment portfolio. Contributors to the Ron Dodd TDR Scholarship include Eric Dodd and Julian Coulthard. Each year, a cash award is granted to an individual or organisation in recognition of their contribution to engineering, manufacturing or science.

Just as we value our heritage, we also look to the future. At every stage in our growth The TDR Trust charitable objectives have been, and will continue to be, our driving force.

We still proudly feature the 1884 Coat of Arms, with its ‘By Science, Industry and Honour’ motto, on the certificates of achievement awarded to learners on successful completion of their training courses.

Our Programmes

The TDR Trust has delivered hundreds of engineering and science programmes in primary and secondary schools. We’ve also delivered ‘away from school’ activities, bringing learners to TDR’s on-site facilities.

We have science labs teaching rooms, engineering labs, ICT and media facilities, all with dedicated and experienced teaching staff.

Our subsidiary trading company, TDR Training Ltd, delivers an extended range of training objectives and provides professional development training for every career stage.

Any income generated by TDR Training Ltd is returned in Gift-Aid to The Trust to allow TDR to operate on a not-for-profit basis

Our Objectives

The whole TDR ethos centres on a passionate commitment to give people in the North East every opportunity to reach their full potential. We do this by providing the very best training, teaching, learning, personal development and progression.

Across our whole range of initiatives, we advocate the benefits of life-long learning for trainees of all abilities, and at every career level.

We believe that skilled, motivated individuals are the key to business success and have a set of objectives at the heart of all we do to make sure we achieve our goals.

Our Board of Trustees

John Smith

Ron Dodd – MBE
Engineering Consultant, British Engines Group

David Kilkenny
Director of Manufacturing, Komatsu UK

Martyn Collins
Partner, Naylors, Gavin Black

Ian Young

Katie O’Brien
General Manager, Human Resources, Komatsu UK

Olivia Grant OBE DL
Chair – Newcastle Futures

Our Aims

  • Make learning a meaningful, positive, relevant and enjoyable experience.
  • be recognised as an exemplary provider of well-informed, timely and relevant information, advice and guidance.
  • Encourage ambition in our target population to achieve its full potential.
  • Make education relevant and fully connected with the needs of the UK economy.
  • Implant lifelong learning for all.
  • Promote aspirations and achievement of progression.
  • Raise the expectations and calibre of the UK workforce – craftspeople, technical staff, graduates and adult learners.
  • Embed employability skills in all.
  • Generate a high calibre pool of capable potential.


That’s what we believe in. Can we help your company?

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