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UK's first ever National College for Wind Energy

Published:  06 January, 2015

The development of a National College for Wind Energy, announced recently by the Business Secretary Rt Hon Vince Cable, has been welcomed by RenewableUK and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.

It will be the first National College dedicated to renewable energy in the UK.

The National College, to be based in the Humber area, will provide a ‘hub’ for skills, training and education initiatives. In addition, there will be a network of partners providing education and training across the UK. The primary focus of the Humber ‘hub’ will be offshore wind, where a large growth in skills is needed. The National College will also provide capability to support onshore wind and marine renewables.

The launch of the college is the result of a proposal to Government led by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and RenewableUK; the project is key to capitalising on the enormous potential that offshore wind plays in the Humber region and elsewhere in the UK.

It is envisaged that the college will open in late 2016, and will award new and mature students with professional qualifications and short courses (post A-level equivalent) in addition to bespoke programmes as directed and sponsored by employers.

Recent research provides evidence that employers are already experiencing skills gaps across wind and marine energy technologies, with 37% finding it hard to fill vacancies. A National College for Wind Energy will provide the long-term strategic focus to address these shortages.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: "Helping young people acquire advanced technical skills for the industries of the future is vitally important. National Colleges are an essential part of our long-term economic plan. The Humber is the natural choice for the HQ of the new National College for Wind Energy. Through the College, Government and industry are investing in the people who will create local jobs and prosperity for the region. By arming people with the skills they need to be energy specialists we can provide career opportunities for thousands of young Britons, boost the competitiveness of British firms and help the UK economy remain strong for the future.”

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