Offshore skills training is key to North East England companies’ success

Published 9 March 2015

More than 199 technicians and 200 small businesses in North East England have benefited from a European Regional Development Funded project (ERDF) related to offshore wind and marine training, delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

Over the past two years, the project, delivered at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, has been delivering health and safety and technical training in a range of disciplines such as working at height and rescue training, non-destructive testing, blade inspection and repair and IRATA rope access for north east companies in order to help them access crucial supply chain opportunities and diversify their business into the offshore renewable energy sector.

The project was established as a result of an identified skills shortage in terms of being able to appropriately service the offshore wind and marine sector and carry out crucial operations and maintenance (O&M) and installation procedures.

One of the project’s success stories is Cramlington-based Dynamo Electrical. As a result of receiving working at height, confined spaces and other offshore renewable energy-relevant courses such as MIST and BOSIET, the company has been able to transfer some of their electrical testing and certification skills, and more than triple its workforce to 38 members of staff. They have also successfully won a substantial asset management contract as a result of the direct support received.

James Madden, Dynamo Electrical Managing Director, said:

“I am really grateful to ORE Catapult for the support and training they have provided. The training we received has opened up a wide range of opportunities and allowed Dynamo to diversify into the offshore wind and marine sector and ultimately improve our profitability.

“As a small business any support available is really appreciated, this project has had a direct and positive impact on our continued success.”

Helen Armstrong, ERDF Programme Manager, said:

“I am delighted with how the project has gone, as someone who is passionate about the North East, it’s been great to deliver a successful project dedicated to supporting local companies and realising some tangible benefits for the region.

“Many of the companies we have helped have commented that their business is now better placed to apply their new and transferable skills, and bid for contracts in the offshore wind and marine sector as a direct result of receiving this and other innovation support projects delivered by ORE Catapult. This can only be a positive result for the region.”

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