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Business & Economy

Offshore energy skills partnership to deliver results

A brand new skills initiative is to revolutionise the delivery of training for the growing offshore energy sector in the region.

Launched at an industry event titled ‘The Future of the North East Energy Sector – Why Collaboration is Key’, the partnership between Newcastle College and Port Training Services, the award winning training arm of the Port of Blyth, will open up opportunities for young people to make their first steps into an industry that is set to grow significantly over the coming years.

New North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll and RenewableUK’s Hugh McNeal championed the partnership at the launch, with keynote speeches on the potential benefits and opportunities for the both the region and the UK as a result of the growth of the offshore renewables sector.

On the partnership’s value to the region, North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, said: “Our devolution deal with Government is all about people; creating training, skills and employment opportunities to help them access good quality jobs and grow the region’s economy. To be developing our low carbon economy is a double benefit.

“The offshore energy sector is thriving in our region, and this partnership between Newcastle College and Port Training Services is just the kind of collaboration we need to ensure local people reap the benefits of this employment revolution and transition to renewable energy.”

In his speech, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said: “The number of jobs in offshore wind is set to treble in the next ten years. We need to make the offshore wind industry the number one choice for people in the North East, whether young or old, for STEM graduates, for people moving out of industries that are in decline and whose skills and talent must be preserved, for people who work wonders digitally, for everyone.

“To do that we need to appeal to the widest possible pool of talent. This is going to require strong local leadership, which this partnership between Newcastle College and Port Training Services and Port of Blyth epitomises”.

The innovative skill-first partnership which combines established energy sector education and the facilities and practical expertise of industry is a unique approach to skills development that puts the North East at the forefront of the national offshore energy skills agenda.

Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, said: “The offshore renewable and subsea engineering sectors are key elements of both the region’s economic plans and its future ambitions. With a strong offshore energy cluster already operating in Blyth and a mature supply chain operating in the region, it’s clear the area is well placed to play a major role in the future development of the sector.

“This partnership will help to tackle the skills agenda in the sector in this region and therefore enable it to grow. We look forward to working with Newcastle College and to the flow of industry ready talent passing through Port Training Services”.