Skills and training

Depth and breadth across the energy workforce

“The North East region benefits from a rich industrial heritage, and a multi-skilled workforce with many transferable skills relevant to the offshore wind industry.” Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank, Equinor.

A highly skilled talent pool of workers makes North East England a prime location for investors.

Our highly skilled workforce is renowned for its exceptional productivity and loyalty. We employ more than 82,000 engineering workers and a further 116,000 in the wider manufacturing sector.

North East England is steeped in an engineering tradition with universities and colleges specialising on new innovative engineering practices to equip workers with the skills they need.   The region’s five universities are critical partners in the offshore energy sector.   They have research and technology expertise in a vast range of relevant fields such as marine engineering, design technology, offshore wind engineering, data analytics, and energy efficiency.

World Class Universities

Over 120,000 students study at our five outstanding universities, with more than 54,000 studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects

Our five universities work hand-in-hand with our energy companies to drive forward cutting-edge sector research. Durham Energy Institute, for example, has a strategic partnership with Orsted, the leading offshore wind developer in the world. It provides academic expertise and access to data and funding in research areas such as renewables generation and carbon capture and storage.


Our region’s colleges are leading the way with innovative courses and pioneering facilities to support the sector.

  • Newcastle College’s Energy Academy offers qualifications up to degree level in energy technology, manufacturing, maintenance and apprenticeships.  The  Academy gives apprentices access to the world’s most advanced Immersive Hybrid Reality (iHR) offshore wind training facility.
  • Northumberland College’s Wind Turbine Technical Training Centre at the Port of Blyth provides access to a 27m climbing tower for working at height training for technicians who service and maintain wind turbines. Its internationally recognised Level 3 BZEE Wind Turbine Service Engineering course is only offered in a handful of global education and training establishments and the college offers the German-based qualification as part of its wider STEM provision to prepare students with the correct vocational skills for employment.
  • South Shields Marine School has a worldwide reputation for outstanding maritime training.

Private sector training

This training excellence is enhanced by a number of world-renowned private sector training providers in the region.  Providers include:

  • Port Training Services (PTS) – PTS based at the Port of Blyth is installing a bespoke wind turbine training facility at one of its terminals.  The Vestas V47 turbine, will be a dedicated training facility and features a duplicate nacelle unit for safer use with trainees while the original nacelle is located at ground level for technical training
  • Port of Blyth Wind Turbine Training Facility –  In a first for the UK wind industry, the bespoke facility is part of a £1m investment in training provision aimed at the offshore energy sector, featuring a modified, former operational wind turbine for practical training alongside a dedicated training centre with modern classrooms and facilities. The turbine features a duplicate nacelle unit designed for safe training at height with the original nacelle located at ground level for technical training.
  • Maersk Training – Maersk Training A/S provides training services to maritime and offshore energy production industries worldwide. The company offers maritime, oil and gas, wind, and crane operations training services. It also provides training services in the areas of survival, safety and security, people skills, and human resource
  • AIS SURVIVEX – AIS Survivex deliver  world-class specialist training for the offshore oil & gas, wind energy and industrial sectors. From our state-of-the-art industrial training facilities throughout the UK, AIS Survivex offer a comprehensive portfolio of mandatory and optional skills, competency and safety courses endorsed by the world’s leading trade associations.