Siemens has contracted Hull College Group for the development of a “best in class” facility to train workers for the company’s new wind turbine blade factory in Hull.
The contract, which is worth around £1m, will see the conversion of an existing college facility to deliver training to the blade factory workforce over the next two years and support the company’s ongoing training needs as it establishes a new industry for the UK in the city.
As part of the deal, Hull College Group will invest £400,000 to upgrade and re-equip the Construction Skills Centre on Hull’s Preston Road estate. The centre will be renamed the Hull College Group Composites Training Centre.
The facility will become one of just two in the UK which specialises in manufacturing skills using composite materials – the other being the National Composites Centre in Bristol. Siemens’ blades are a composite of balsa wood, glass fibre and resin.
Under the deal, a successful training programme from the Aalborg college will be replicated in Hull, with the Hull centre becoming a sister training facility to the Danish operation. All 800 operational staff hired to work in the blade factory will undergo five weeks of training at the Hull College facility, with the first recruits trained from March 2016.
Siemens’ UK Head of Skills Martin Hottass said: “This is part of a comprehensive training programme, but we will do all the training that we can locally, delivered by local people. This will maximise the benefit to the local community and minimise the disruption to family life for the people we will employ in Hull.
“We will award further training contracts in due course and we anticipate working with local providers once more.”
Mr Hottass said the Siemens’ contract would enable Hull College Group to invest in remodelling and upgrading the existing facility.
Hull College Group Chief Executive Gary Warke said: “Investing with Hull College Group, enabling the development of an industry-leading facility and committing to put 800 people through training here is a massive demonstration of Siemens’ commitment to the city and local community.
”Siemens is due to begin large-scale recruitment for the blade factory later this month and will soon hold a series of careers events which will enable people to find out all they need to know about the jobs that will be available.”