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New Energy Central flagship learning facility announces Northumberland Skills as educational partner

Blyth-based Energy Central Learning Hub has welcomed a new educational partner, Northumberland Skills, to deliver training in the advanced manufacturing and energy sectors.

Northumberland Skills management team with Port CEO and Northumberland County Councillors at Energy Central Learning Hub site at Port of Blyth
Northumberland Skills management team with Port CEO and Northumberland County Councillors at Energy Central Learning Hub site at Port of Blyth

Northumberland Skills, Northumberland County Council’s post-16 education provider, will house its latest campus at the new training and skills facility located at the Port of Blyth.


Enrolment is currently open for its advanced manufacturing and renewable energy qualifications which will be delivered from September to school leavers and those looking to retrain at the new facility.


The Energy Central Learning Hub is part of Energy Central Campus, which is a strategic partnership between Northumberland County Council, Port of Blyth, and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. It has been strategically placed in the clean energy epicentre of the North to bring academia and business together helping to bridge the skills gap and further develop those looking for a career in the industry.


Northumberland Skills’ training will complement the existing learning offering from Bede Academy, which was announced as a partner last year. Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for Inspiring Young People, at Northumberland County Council said: “This is an incredible opportunity for people across Northumberland, and beyond, to seize the opportunity to follow a career in clean energy and engineering.


“There is no point in bringing the jobs of the future to Blyth if those jobs can't be accessed by local people, which is why our training facilities are so important.”


Richard Waterston, sector specialist training centre manager at Northumberland Skills, said: “Our commitment goes beyond training – it's about propelling individuals into quality, rewarding job opportunities and continued career development.


"With our new campus at Energy Central Learning Hub, we're starting a journey for the next generation of power engineers, maintenance experts, and technicians.


“Experienced lecturers and industry experts will deliver advanced manufacturing and renewable energy qualifications to equip individuals with the skills they’ll need to quickly progress from a one-year programme into employment or further education. “Learners will gain skills to work efficiently and effectively in an engineering environment and how to use and communicate technical information, as well as practical techniques, from maintaining electrical equipment to producing mechanical assemblies.”


Energy Central Campus is one of the flagship projects of Energising Blyth, a £90m regeneration programme to grow, renew, and connect the town. The programme is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and funded in partnership with the UK Government, Northumberland County Council, North of Tyne Combined Authority and support from other partners.


Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for Supporting Business and Opportunities, at Northumberland County Council, added: “It’s fantastic to see the Blyth regeneration continue to take shape.


“This cutting-edge training and skills facility will be a thriving place of learning for our engineers of the future - especially within the clean energy space.”


Councillor Eileen Cartie, County Councillor for Wensleydale Ward, Blyth, where the project is located said: “I'm thrilled to have this type of facility located in Blyth. It will really enhance young people's educational skills for their futures.”


Chief Executive at Port of Blyth and Chair of Energy Central Campus Martin Lawlor, concluded: “We are delighted to welcome Northumberland Skills to the learning hub. It’s vital that business and academia work together to bridge the STEM skills gap and create a new generation of engineers and technicians.


“Energy Central Learning Hub will act as a conduit to facilitate this evolution; learners will be upskilled by industry experts and feel competent, confident and qualified to work in clean energy.”


If you are interested in finding out more and enrolling for September 2024, visit www.northumberlandskills.co.uk/energy


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