Newcastle College is significantly increasing its ongoing commitment to the energies sector with its growing need for high level skills via the success of its dedicated state-of-the-art training academy. The Energy Academy is successfully delivering the skills and knowledge employers say they require as the College strives to play a significant role in helping meet the training needs of the regional, national and international renewable energy sector.
The launch event for the Energy Academy was attended by over 100 representatives from industry, education and Government. The Academy was officially opened by Tim Yeo MP, President of the Renewable Energy Association and Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and Walt Patterson, Nuclear Physicist, writer, broadcaster and independent analyst on energy and the environment.
Based on the North Bank of the Tyne, a major area of growth for businesses in the renewable energies sector, the centre provides a hub for offshore wind and wind technologies skills training and development as well as delivering training in other forms of renewable energies technology.
The Energy Academy was developed in partnership with Shepherd Offshore Group as part of its continued investment to create a world-class manufacturing, training and R&D centre of the North Bank of the Tyne.
This area has already attracted world-class manufacturing organisations in the offshore energy sectors and the addition of a dedicated facility to meet the training needs of the renewable market will enhance the chances of further major job creation in the area.
The academy can deliver qualifications from level 2 through to Degree in energy technologies, manufacturing and maintenance and it can also include apprenticeships at all levels. Additionally, the academy is building stronger links with SME’s by responding to any training and research requirements including supporting an infrastructure to develop major components for the wind generator assemblies.
The 20,000 square feet centre aims to provide employer facing skills training to the energies sector, helping to bridge the national skills gap and providing a hub of expertise for young people developing a career and employers wishing to up-skill their current workforce in one of the major growing priority sectors in the country. The academy is also seeking to attract international businesses that are seeking to invest and up-skill the knowledge and skills of their workforce.
The centre plans were developed with support and involvement of major employers in the energy and manufacturing sectors, including, Shepherd Offshore, Duco Ltd and SMD Ltd. Facilities include equipment, such as a computed numerically controlled (CNC) machine and there is ongoing investment taking place with plans to install autoclave pressurising apparatus related to manufacture, assembly and maintenance of offshore wind turbines
Business, employees and learners have access to a wide range of provision from Specialist Diploma through to Foundation Degrees. Honours and Masters Degrees relevant to offshore wind and wind technologies will also be developed to provide a clear progression route and to develop higher level skills. This will build on the current Foundation Degrees offered in Subsea Engineering and Renewable Energy Technologies.
Dame Jackie Fisher, Chief Executive of NCG, said: “This is a major development for the college and the result of the productive partnerships that we have built with employers in the renewable energies sector.
“The academy has been developed in direct response to the national skills gap and the need for higher level skills and training. For the first time employers will have dedicated facilities in the region to enable them to up-skill and cross-skill their workforce. The centre will also help to meet the future needs of industry as the curriculum is developed to provide sector specific training up to Masters Degree.
Bruce Shepherd, Managing Director of Shepherd Offshore said: “We are delighted to continue support for Newcastle College’s endeavours and see real benefit in providing first class facilities for the college, existing companies and those looking to locate new capacity on the North Bank of the river”
The Energy Academy sits within the college’s School of Applied Science and Technology, developed to support the vitally important Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) agenda. The school works in close collaboration across all areas of expertise, including:
Engineering / Automotive / Aerospace & Allied Engineering / Computing Technology / Vocational Science / Renewable Energy / Environmental, Land Based & Veterinary Nursing
For more information renewable provision & activities available at Newcastle College visit www.newcastlecollege.co.uk or contact Dave Dudman on 0191 2004371.
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