In a first for the UK wind industry the Port of Blyth is installing a bespoke wind turbine training facility at its Bates terminal as part of a £1m investment in training provision aimed at the offshore energy sector.
With the rapid growth of renewable energy providing the North East with major inward investment opportunities, the skills gap that currently exists in the sector is a key barrier to growth.
This investment has enabled the Port of Blyth, through its award winning training arm Port Training Services, to purchase, modify and install a Vestas V47 turbine, develop a dedicated training facility alongside the turbine and purchase specialist equipment. The erected turbine 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’s Chief Executive, Martin Lawlor, said: “Seeing the turbine being hoisted into position is a great milestone for us. Port Training Services has been at the forefront of the port skills agenda for many years and this development represents a huge opportunity for them to widen their offering to a high growth sector in the coming years.
“We see a key role for ourselves in supporting the development of talent right through from schools engaging with our Blyth STEM Hub initiative to our training partnerships with local colleges and this facility is an exciting extension of that. The region and indeed the UK as a whole will benefit from this facility through the development of key skills relating to offshore energy and we’re very much looking forward to unveiling it to the industry.”
The facility has benefitted from funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and will offer clients the opportunity for realistic training in relation to working at height, rope access, blade repair & inspection techniques, advanced rescue and emergency response simulation.