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Offshore skills centre to provide adults with fantastic future

PUBLISHED: 11:18 05 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:32 05 January 2019

MP Brandon Lewis cutting the tape at the East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at East Coast College. Picture: Deryn Corbett

MP Brandon Lewis cutting the tape at the East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at East Coast College. Picture: Deryn Corbett

Archant

A programme which has been praised by its students for providing them with a fantastic future in the energy sector has opened a new offshore wind skills centre.

The East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at East Coast College will provide support to adults who want to reskill and gain sustainable employment in the offshore wind industry. Picture: Deryn CorbettThe East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at East Coast College will provide support to adults who want to reskill and gain sustainable employment in the offshore wind industry. Picture: Deryn Corbett

The East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at East Coast College will provide support to adults who want to re-skill and gain sustainable employment in the offshore wind industry.

The centre in Great Yarmouth offers two programmes - a 12 week full-time level 2 diploma in safe working practice in the wind turbine industry and a 3-4 week transition to offshore course for engineers and technicians who are already working in closely aligned industries.

Director of business development at East Coast College, Vicky Beck, described the centre as the perfect opportunity for adults to retrain into a thriving and growing industry.

She said: “These courses are at the forefront of skills development, building on the college’s strong links with the sector.

MP Brandon Lewis at the East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre launch at East Coast College. Picture: Deryn CorbettMP Brandon Lewis at the East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre launch at East Coast College. Picture: Deryn Corbett

“It ensures we are keeping up with industry developments and meeting their skills needs both now and in the future.”

Two recent graduates from the first transition course which ran in the summer attended the official opening and received their certificates.

Ricki Western came to the programme having struggled to get a job within the industry despite having engineering skills.

Mr Western said: “It has been a great opportunity for me to climb the ladder. Anyone that completes this course has a fantastic future.”

He has since been employed by oil and gas company 3sun who help to deliver the training.

50pc of the UK’s offshore wind energy is generated in the east coast and by 2030 it is expected £5m per year will be spent in operations and maintenance in the region.

MP, Brandon Lewis who was at the launch congratulated everyone involved with the project.

He said: “There is a huge opportunity here for us, as there are so many job opportunities in this particular sector.

“It is our job to make sure our candidates have the right skills to satisfy the industry as it grows in the years ahead.

“It will play a huge role in the region ensuring we send candidates off, employment ready, with the right skills to branch out into this growing sector.”

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