Shaping the region’s energy sector

March 31, 2020

Royal IHC is helping to build future skills by supporting a number of training programmes that include a new offshore renewables and subsea engineering qualification based at the Port of Blyth

With four locations spread around the North East, Royal IHC – which designs, manufactures and supplies bespoke offshore systems for a range of different industries including offshore wind, telecommunications and oil and gas – is committed to promoting the region as a key hub for the energy sector.

The industry has grown more than 60 per cent since 2010 and it is no surprise that it is seen as a priority growth area for both the North East and the UK as a whole. With another 27,000 jobs set to be created by 2030, it is essential that there are enough skilled people being trained to fill those roles.

To help meet the demand, Royal IHC is committed to developing the talented workforce of the future. Last September, the company became an official sponsor of a new Offshore Renewables & Subsea Engineering Level 3 qualification. The course is delivered in partnership between Port Training Services, the training division of the Port of Blyth, and Newcastle College.

Thirty-six local students enrolled on the course and are currently based at the dedicated training facilities at the Port of Blyth. The students are provided with high-quality training as well as access to both real-world facilities and potential employers like Royal IHC.

Royal IHC has supported Port Training Services through the Blyth STEM Hub with numerous STEM initiatives over the last few years, inspiring students all across the region. Royal IHC spoke to one youngster during a STEM event when he was ten, who then interviewed with the company for an apprenticeship at 15. Now he is working as a multi-skilled technician at Royal IHC. Furthermore, Royal IHC’s 20,000sq metre facility at the Port of Blyth means the organisation is perfectly placed to support and promote the course.

At Royal IHC, safety comes first; therefore, it sponsored the PPE for all students enrolled on the course. The company also provided a subsea trenching vehicle demonstrator to be used as a learning tool for the students. This demonstrator was built in 2014 as part of the research and development process of innovating a new product to grow Royal IHC’s subsea vehicle portfolio. This offers the students a unique way of learning the key skills necessary to enter the offshore renewables and subsea sectors.

Royal IHC is also advancing the region’s energy sector by supporting early-stage SME companies. The organisation has recently partnered with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to support their Cleantech Offshore Renewables Accelerator programme. The Launch Academy North East has been established to accelerate early-stage SME cleantech solutions from across the region, to enhance the local offshore wind supply chain and drive cost reduction through innovation.

With more than 20 years of developing and commercialising new technology, Royal IHC’s subsea products technical manager Ralph Manchester is using his experience in the industry to support the SMEs.

“Growing the North East of England’s current expertise in offshore and subsea energy infrastructure will bring valuable employment and growth to the region. Royal IHC supports this clustering activity, which will attract both domestic and international customers providing increased prosperity for all,” he says.

With additional initiatives in the pipeline for 2020, through education and innovation, Royal IHC will continue to support the growth of the region’s world-class energy hub.

Royal IHC

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