Five Humber Colleges have come together with the Humber LEP to build on their current offer to create a Humber Energy Skills Centre of Excellence.
Bishop Burton College, East Riding College, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, Hull College Group and North Lindsey College are working with the Humber LEP through the Hull and Humber City Deal process to develop the Humber Campus.
The project will utilise existing facilities and expand them to present a joint offer to the energy sector to increase capacity and delivery as it develops.
The first phase, totalling £3.1m (£1.245m of FE capital funding won by the Humber LEP through the city deal, matched by £1.9m from the colleges) will see a rapid programme of capital works at the sites to improve and establish training facilities linked to the expanding renewables sector.
This will offer local people better access to education and jobs by supporting approximately 1,500 additional learning opportunities for adults over 3 years.
Future phases will involve work with colleges, private training providers and the University of Hull to ensure that the Humber has the skills and training facilities to support the sector. The work is being led by the LEP’s Employment and Skills Board, which is made up of business and education leaders.
Mike Parker, Chair of the Humber LEP Employment and Skills Board, said:
“This is the first step towards creating a Humber-wide campus that can become a recognised centre of excellence for energy skills. As the UK’s energy estuary the Humber is already the leading location for renewables businesses to invest, but we want to make sure our training offer leads the field as well.
“The renewables sector in the region has a huge boost with planning permission being granted for the 4,000-job Able Marine Energy Park and these facilities will help with these jobs and others that will be created in the future linked to renewables and linked industries.
“The freedoms, flexibilities and funding allowed by the deal means we can make sure we have the right courses and support for local people to be trained into jobs while supporting those businesses that are here and those who invest here.”
What the colleges will offer:
Bishop Burton College will create a sustainable technologies centre with the focus on environmental technologies, mathematics, bio sciences, engineering and innovation. The centre will include bespoke IT, virtual labs and flexible teaching space.
The focus on science, engineering and mathematics aims to bridge the gap of technical careers in the UK jobs market and assist with the translation of innovation in engineering and biological science into high value technology throughHumberbusinesses.
The project will increase numbers by 150 full time FE students, 80 HE students and 55 apprentices who will develop technical and employability skills in the energy sector qualifying them for a whole range of green careers.
Jeanette Dawson, OBE Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Burton College said “The College’s established agricultural credentials and industry network makes us well placed to deliver on the wider sustainability agenda.
“Of course this includes precision farming techniques which have the potential to reduce carbon inputs and contribute to the Governments targets on sustainable food production. The Centre will provide an exciting and stimulating learning environment in which students can explore the science of energy and sustainability, supplying a growing industry with the skills it needs to thrive.”
East Riding College is building its Environmental Technologies Centre to provide specialised equipment for the regional energy sector, including full-sized training rigs for the installation and maintenance of solar, thermal and photovoltaic technology.
It will build on the college’s training for the green sector, such as biomass, wind farming, on and offshore skills and photovoltaic, solar, thermal and air source heating.
The project will allow both those who are employed and those looking to get back into education the chance to train. The focus will be on linking learners with businesses considering apprenticeships, in addition to recruiting full-time learners to programmes to equip them to enter the renewables industry workforce.
Principal Derek Branton said: “This is excellent news for East Riding College and the many established and new businesses in East and North Yorkshire who will benefit from our outstanding training facilities.
“Our aim is to provide training and business support services through our Environmental Technologies Centre. It will play a crucial role in enabling companies in the region and their supply chain to take advantage of the very significant opportunities for growth associated with the renewables industry which is predicted for the Humber region.”
Grimbsy Institute of Further and Higher Education is investing in creating an Environmental Technologies Centre taking in a range of environmental technologies to underpin expansion in apprenticeships, technical programmes and new Foundation Degrees.
The expansion into green energy will see two apprenticeship frameworks and four new FE programmes to supply a skilled workforce to the energy sector.
The centre will support learning in new technologies as well as significant safeguarding of current occupations and skills. Through the centre improvements to productivity within the established sectors such as engineering or construction will be made.
Sue Middlehurst, Principal and Chief Executive of the Grimsby Institute Group, said: “These are exciting times for our region and we are delighted to be joining forces with other providers to offer the training that is vital in ensuring we have a workforce that is ready for the wealth of opportunities that lay ahead.”
Hull College Group is creating welding and fabrication centres of excellence in both Goole andHull with the procurement of virtual welding facilities and the refurbishment of practical welding workshops.
Welding currently has an ageing workforce with an average age of 58 which means it is essential to train younger people in these skills to support the supply chain and the energy industry.
The project will more than double the capacity to deliver training with more than 750 places by 2023 as well as increasing the quality of the programmes allowing the college to take a leading role in welding and fabrication to up-skill the current workforce and get people into work.
Hull College Group Chief Executive and LEP Board Member, Gary Warke said: “The renewables sector is estimated to generate thousands of new jobs, including a substantial demand for qualified welders.
“Our investment in new welding facilities will provide specialist skills and training equipping local people, including the young unemployed to take advantage of these future career opportunities.”
North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe will be creating an engineering centre and a digital hub that will raise the skill level of the region’s employees.
The engineering centre will see the college working in conjunction with local employers, focusing on the areas of engineering, fabrication and welding which are an exciting and expanding provision in the region. The college will invest in updating equipment and specialised equipment to increase the college’s capacity to raise employee skill levels and get unemployed people into work.
The digital hub will have industry standard technology available to both students and small business offering space and opportunities for training, as well as specialising in research and development.
Janice Keilthy, Deputy Principal at North Lindsey College, said: “North Lindsey College is currently investing in a major development within its engineering provision on campus which will complement and enhance this exciting development across the region. By working with employers as we develop the campus, the College can ensure that the facilities closely identify with the requirements of local businesses to help them expand and succeed and provide future employment opportunities for local students.”