Purpose-built training centre to be opened at Port Blyth

7th September 2016
Anna Flockett

Soon to be opening by Northumberland College is a £1.2m purpose-built training centre based at the Port of Blyth with workshops and the latest teaching and learning technologies for renewables. Students who enrol for 2016 start dates will join the first cohort of students in the brand-new hub at the port of Blyth.

Developed in conjunction with the industry and European partners the courses on offer ensure that students gain necessary experience and qualifications set for a career in the renewables and engineering sector.

Ian Palmer, Renewables lecturer for Northumberland College said: "Our courses in our Renewables Academy consist of practical training produced by the industry for the industry and are designed to equip the future workforce with knowledge for further development of wind power."

Courses in renewables at Northumberland College include Level 3 BZEE Wind Turbine Technician Studies, a course where 90% of students go on to work in the window power industry within 12 months.

Previous students who have benefited from this include 40-year-old- James Tomkins, who now works as a Wind Turbine Technician for Granite Services (GE).

After 15-years in the same job, Tomkins decided to embark on a career change and enrolled on to theLevel 3 BZEE Wind Turbine Technician Studiesto advance his skills and knowledge.

Tomkins said: "Despite having certain industry knowledge, I had little confidence in being able to secure a job in the wind industry and I felt it was time for me to change to a career that included a mix of physical fitness, problem solving and traveling."

"Theexperience and expertise of the staff was both recent and comprehensive, delivering a relevant, specific yet diverse course that suits the entry requirements for the wind industry,” Tomkins continued. "I was provided with support with job applications and updating my CV and now I am eventually in my dream job, excited for what the future may bring."

Palmer added: "These courses in Renewables at Northumberland College can get students to fully qualified wind technician status and straight into employment. James is a great example of this."

In the North East Engineering industry, 40,000 people are employed within engineering occupations and industry forecasts predict this future will remain steady by the year 2020.

Overall, the UK has grown to become the fourth largest automotive producer in Europe. Some other sectors include Aerospace, Construction Space, Life Sciences, Power, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing and Wind Power.

Northumberland College's Wind and Renewables Centre was open for The Tall Ships Blyth 2016 bank holiday weekend celebrations to highlight the brand-new facilities.

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