A £250,000 training centre providing vital skills for the on and offshore energy sectors will be officially opened by Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell.
The state-of-the-art Shoreland NDT Academy, which will employ five people, has been created by the Newcastle-based training provider Shoreland Access and is one of only eight such centres in the UK to be approved by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing.
NDT is the term given to a range of analysis techniques used in science and industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage. It is commonplace in both onshore and offshore engineering.
Shoreland NDT Academy will provide training courses and industry qualifications to candidates wishing to pursue a career in the field and believes the academy will attract individuals from all over the UK.
Post-training, then, technicians will go on to work across the globe with the qualifications attained on Tyneside.
Courses will be offered in ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle, dye penetrant, eddy current, weld inspection, and radiography interpretation.
All will carry the industry standard BINDT PCN qualification.
Neil Cox, a director at Shoreland, said: “The facility adds to the credibility of the North East as a major centre for offshore.
“The NDT personnel we train will end up working around the world and we will get overseas students coming to this training.”
He added that the academy was ideally situated on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate in North Shields, close to AIS and its new Offshore Survival Centre, making the area a one-stop shop for candidates wishing to pursue a career offshore.
“Between ourselves and AUS, you can pretty much do any offshore course you wish. Up until now, the nearest NDT training facility was in Teeside, but there was nothing around Newcastle,” he said.
The offshore sector, he added, was becoming increasingly important to the North East, which was now offering some advantage over sector hot spot, Aberdeen.
“A lot people of people may pay to do the courses themselves to advance their careers, and, when you take hotels and expenses into account in Aberdeen, it can be costly,” he said.
“Plus, there’s a huge core of NDT, based around the North East.”
Courses will launch in August. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org