The Port of Blyth and Newcastle College have entered into skills partnership which will open up career opportunities for young people in the region.
In a skills first approach, Newcastle College and Port Training Services (PTS) are joining forces to develop and deliver training programmes with direct pathways into the offshore energy sector.
The partnership combines the technical expertise of the Energy Academy, a centre of innovation and training for the sector, with the industry insight and working environment of Port Training Services, to develop offshore, marine, subsea and port related training, Port of Blyth explained.
Marc McPake, director of Business Partnerships said: “The North East region is a UK hub for the energy sector, with many key employers based here. The industry has grown more than 60% 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’s important there are enough skilled people being trained to fill those roles and a partnership between Newcastle College and Port Training Services will ensure that young people living in the region can benefit from those opportunities.”
The students will be based at the PTS complex in Blyth, benefiting from both PTS’ teaching accommodation and the real-working facilities of the Port of Blyth, including a fully functional wind turbine nacelle and a fully erected wind turbine training asset, to be completed in the summer of 2019.
With the first intake of students expected in September, two initial programmes are being created. These will include a two-year Level 3 engineering qualification, with focus on offshore energy and subsea engineering, as well as the Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician (MOET) apprenticeship, which can be tailored to suit the needs of employers.
On completion, the courses will offer routes directly into employment or into higher education within Newcastle College University Centre.
The partnership aligns itself to the strategic priorities of both the North East LEP, particularly its current focus on the growth of the energy sector and the education & training to provide the skills required by the industry, and the North of Tyne devolution arrangement.
Port of Blyth chief executive Martin Lawlor said: “This partnership offers excellent outcomes for both offshore energy related businesses based in the region and young people keen to get into an industry with excellent prospects.
“Through the unique opportunity this partnership will provide, students will not only benefit from high quality training but will also gain access to both real world facilities and employers actively searching for the talented workforce of the future.
“For some time, PTS has been at the forefront of tackling the skills challenge in the port and marine sector and through this partnership with Newcastle College, we’re delighted that the team at PTS will be able to utilize their skills and experience directly in an offshore energy training environment.”