Industry Backs New UK East Coast Training Centre

A group of UK-based companies has launched a training centre to provide a skilled workforce for wind farms located offshore the UK east coast, with developers, operators and supply chain companies supporting the training places.

Source: TMS Media

The 3sun Group-led project will see the East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre provide technician training to local residents from Norfolk and Suffolk, primarily Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, in order to prepare for the offshore wind industry on the east coast.

Located at the East Coast College Great Yarmouth campus and funded by a GBP 1.1 million grant from the New Anglia Skills Deal Programme, the new centre is said to provide content relevant for today’s industry, such as installation, construction, commissioning, and operations and maintenance.

Two courses will initially be available, including a three-week transition course targeting people with engineering experience in allied industries and other related sectors which will start at the end of the month, as well as a 12-week course for job-seekers and recent education leavers scheduled for July.

Developers, operators and supply chain companies from the offshore wind sector are supporting the cost of training places to ensure a flow of new skilled entrants to the industry, according to 3sun, who is launching the first 60 places.

ScottishPower Renewables, developing the East Anglia One offshore wind farm, has invested GBP 55,000 to sponsor up to 13 places, while Vattenfall, the developer of Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas, is also supporting the project.

So far, up to GBP 500,000 worth of equipment, including wind turbine generators, blades and hydraulics, has been committed by companies, 3sun said.

“The big barrier for people in this area to get into offshore wind is the enormous cost of the technical wind-related training. This provides the funding to remove this barrier,” Graham Hacon, CEO of 3sun Group, said.

“We are looking for more companies to be involved. The more that join, the greater benefit to the company when it is looking for skilled technicians.”