Offshore skills builder AIS Training has revealed plans to expand its North Tyneside operations with a specialised renewable energy centre that will create 12 jobs.
It is hoped the forthcoming £1m centre will attract workers from the wind sector who need to technical and competency training.
The purpose-built 6,000 sq ft industrial unit will host a 15 metre high climbing and rescue platform to recreate the conditions on a wind turbine.
It comes in addition to AIS’ £2.5m Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate base, which opened last year following £250,000 of Regional Growth Fund support.
The Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence will also feature three classrooms and will sit within AIS’ existing 150,000 sq ft offshore training complex.
AIS has achieved accreditation for the facility from wind industry bodies such as the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and Renewable UK (RUK).
Paul Stonebanks, managing director at AIS said: “Our new renewable energy facility will rival the very best in the world and will put the North East at the forefront of skills and competency training for the global wind energy sector.
“At AIS we are seeing massive customer demand for well-qualified wind industry professionals as a result of new offshore wind projects such as Dogger Bank and East Anglia One. Our new custom-made facility will enable us to accommodate this increased demand and help plug industry skills shortages.
“Working in the wind sector requires very specific skills such as inspecting and repairing wind turbine blades at eye-watering heights. Our training puts industry-skills such as working at height in context for wind professionals so that when they go into the field they are well equipped to cope with any eventuality.
“We’ve listened carefully to our customers who tell us that cost is the number one consideration when training staff. By building the renewable energy campus within our existing offshore training village – just around the corner from our on-site hotel – we can bring the overall training cost down for delegates.
“We significantly reduce their travel and accommodation costs. They can stay in our low-cost hotel at the same time as getting all the skills and competency training they would ever need in one location. We believe this creates an unbeatable offer and we are anticipating high demand for places at our centre.”
Customers of the renewable energy centre can stay at AIS’ two-storey hotel which is specially designed to mirror life offshore.
Guests at the hotel are subject to sirens and training drills which are conducted to familiarise trainees with offshore living.