A new purpose-built offshore survival training centre, which will create up to 30 new jobs over the next three years and inject hundreds of thousands of pounds into the local economy, is to be built on North Tyneside.
The new offshore survival centre is being developed by AIS Training to cope with the growing demand for training courses from the offshore industry, which is currently experiencing unprecedented growth throughout all energy sectors.
The 20,000 sq ft training centre will be built next to AIS’s headquarters on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate and will complement the company’s existing learning facility, as well as its emergency fire training facility at Newcastle Airport, developed with its OTN partners.
Featuring state-of-the-art facilities including an environmental pool, fire training centre and lifeboat and davit system, the centre will train workers from the offshore oil and gas, wind and maritime sectors in how to cope in the event of an emergency. The facilities have been designed to provide a lifelike setting where workers will learn survival techniques for emergency scenarios such as a helicopter ditching at sea, sea survival, escaping from a smoke-filled environment and evacuating via a lifeboat.
Fifteen new jobs will be initially created as a result of the new facility, bringing the total number of AIS employees to 80. The company also expects the facility, in addition to the launch of a range of new training packages, to help double its existing turnover within a 12 to 18-month period.
AIS managing director Paul Stonebanks said: “We already have an exceptional record in getting people into work and maintaining their skills and this exciting new facility will provide a unique training experience within our learning village, as well as giving vital training to offshore workers.”
It is expected that 3,000 offshore workers from around the globe will receive training at the facility per annum, with safety courses approved by leading trade associations.
AIS was founded in 2007 by Stonebanks, 37, who has worked in the offshore market for his entire career. The business initially focused on manufacturing, supplying and fitting insulation products to the offshore markets, but diversified into training on the back of strong customer demand.