Build & Sustainability
Blyth’s Energy Central Learning Hub reveals Northumberland Skills alliance
January 24, 2024
A training venture focused on delivering the advanced manufacturing and energy workers of tomorrow has struck a new alliance.
Energy Central Learning Hub has partnered with Northumberland Skills.
Operating as Northumberland County Council’s post-16 education provider, it will run a campus at the new Port of Blyth-based endeavour.
Part of Energy Central Campus, a partnership between Northumberland County Council, Port of Blyth and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, bosses say Energy Central Learning Hub will bring academia and business closer together to help bridge skills gaps.
They add Northumberland Skills’ training will complement an existing offer from Bede Academy, which was announced last year.
Richard Waterston, Northumberland Skills’ sector specialist training centre manager, said: “Our commitment is to propel individuals into quality, rewarding job opportunities and continued career development.
“And with our new campus at Energy Central Learning Hub, we’re starting a journey for the next generation of power engineers, maintenance experts and technicians.”
Pictured, from left to right, are Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson; Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj; Councillor Eileen Cartie; Martin Lawlor, Port of Blyth chief executive; Michael Burton, Northumberland Skills’ head of skills and employability; and Richard Waterston, Northumberland Skills’ sector specialist training centre manager Picture: Northumberland County Council
Energy Central Campus is a flagship project within the £90 million Energising Blyth regeneration programme, which is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and has received funding from the authority alongside the Government and North of Tyne Combined Authority, and support from further partners.
Martin Lawlor, Port of Blyth chief executive and Energy Central campus chair, added: “It’s vital business and academia work together to bridge the STEM skills gap and create a new generation of engineers and technicians.
“Energy Central Learning Hub will act as a conduit to facilitate this evolution; learners will be upskilled by industry experts and feel competent, confident and qualified to work in clean energy.”
He added enrolment is now open for advanced manufacturing and renewable energy qualifications, which will be delivered from September.
Meanwhile, Blyth Harbour Commission, the statutory trust that operates Port of Blyth, has made a senior board appointment.
Catherine Young has replaced Geoff Hodgson as chair.
Catherine [pictured, above], who previously held the deputy chair role, said: “I’m looking forward to working closely with board members and senior management to deliver further growth and prosperity for the benefit of stakeholders and the wider regional economy.”
Commissioner Paul Hardisty has become deputy chair, with Andrew Mills appointed a non-executive commissioner.