North East England has a highly skilled and loyal labour force to meet investor needs. 

The region has over 82,000 general engineering employees and 116,000 working in wider manufacturing roles. We have one of the UK’s lowest labour turnover rates and offer exceptional specialist training facilities for investors to access.

With over 120,000 students in the region, businesses located here have a strong talent pool of skilled workers coming through. Over three-quarters of North East students who study here opt to stay, making it much easier to recruit and retain local staff beyond graduation.

This loyalty is achieved through a joint commitment between education and business, to mould work-ready graduates by giving them real-world experiences to guide them into their chosen field of expertise.

The North East Combined Authority is working proactively to stimulate engagement between industry and skills providers and educators, such as through facilitating the Energi Coast skills group. This aims to make the North East an Offshore Wind sector skills destination, which delivers demand-led provision to enable the sector to grow and thrive.

World-class universities

Over 120,000 students study at the region’s five universities, with more than half 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 and has recently launched 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 exceptional private sector training providers in the region, including:

  • Port Training Services (PTS) – currently installing a bespoke wind turbine facility at Port of Blyth. Vestas V47 will feature a duplicate nacelle unit for safer use with trainees while the original nacelle will provide technical training at ground level.
  • Maersk Training – 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 resources.
  • AIS Survivex– delivers specialist training for the offshore, oil and gas, wind energy and industrial sectors, including mandatory and optional skills, competency and safety courses.