Northumberland College to open a £1.2m purpose-built training centre

Northumberland Colleges Wind Hub and Renewable Energies Centre, Port of Blyth.
Northumberland Colleges Wind Hub and Renewable Energies Centre, Port of Blyth.

Northumberland College will soon be opening a £1.2million purpose-built training centre based at the Port of Blyth with state-of-the-art workshops and the latest teaching and learning technologies for renewables.

Students who enrol for 2016 start dates will join the first cohort of students in the brand-new hub at the port of Blyth. The courses on offer are developed in conjunction with the industry and European partners to ensure that students gain necessary experience and qualifications set for a career in the renewables and engineering sector.

Ian Palmer, Renewables lecturer for Northumberland College said: “Our courses in our Renewables Academy consist of practical training produced by the industry for the industry and are designed to equip the future workforce with knowledge for further development of wind power.”

Courses in renewables at Northumberland College include Level 3 BZEE Wind Turbine Technician Studies – a course where 90% of students go on to work in the window power industry within 12 months.

Previous students who have benefited from this include 40-year-old James Tomkins, who now works as a Wind Turbine Technician for Granite Services (GE). After 15 years in the same job, James decided to embark on a career change and enrolled on to the Level 3 BZEE Wind Turbine Technician Studies to advance his skills and knowledge. James said: “Despite having certain industry knowledge, I had little confidence in being able to secure a job in the wind industry and I felt it was time for me to change to a career that included a mix of physical fitness, problem solving and travelling.”

“The experience and expertise of the staff was both recent and comprehensive, delivering a relevant, specific yet diverse course that suits the entry requirements for the wind industry.”

“I was provided with support with job applications and updating my CV and now I am eventually in my dream job, excited for what the future may bring.”

Renewables lecturer Ian Palmer added: “These courses in Renewables at Northumberland College can get students to fully qualified wind technician status and straight into employment. James is a great example of this.”

In the North East Engineering industry, 40,000 people are employed within engineering occupations and industry forecasts predict this future will remain steady by the year 2020. Overall, the UK has grown to become the fourth largest automotive producer in Europe. Some other sectors include Aerospace, Construction Space, Life Sciences, Power, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing and Wind Power.

Northumberland College’s Wind and Renewables Centre was open to the public for The Tall Ships Blyth 2016 bank holiday weekend celebrations to highlight the brand-new facilities. Members of the public enjoyed a renewable energies display by College staff, as well as enjoy a range of family friendly games and activities, including hula hooping, building bird boxes, climbing wall activities, meeting and holding creatures from Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens and much more.

To find out more about our courses in renewables, visit www.northumberland.ac.uk