A rescue demonstration from a 20 metre high structure, rescues using rope access and lifting structures weighing hundreds of pounds were just some of the activities showcased today at the official launch of a new purpose-built skills centre on North Tyneside.
The specialist centre is being developed by Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS) in collaboration with Maersk Training to provide a one-stop-shop for training within the renewable energy, offshore, maritime and industrial sectors. Providing more than 60,000 square feet of bespoke space, the recently completed centre is one of the highest rated, most well equipped industrial training facilities in theUK.
As well as specially designed structures, platforms, confined spaces and rigging and lifting areas, the centre features real life and computerised workplace simulation and technical training areas, along with a 20 metre tall training tower. It also includes fully equipped classrooms, lecture areas, break-out spaces and a staffed canteen.These facilities enable AIS and Maersk to offer a comprehensive portfolio of industrial, engineering and health and safety courses endorsed by the world’s leading trade associations including IRATA, OPITO, SPRAT, IOSH and RenewablesUK.
It is anticipated that more than 2,000 delegates per year will be trained at the centre in world recognised qualifications such as rope access, insulation, working at height, confined space, rigging and lifting, health and safety and specialist training for the emerging renewable energy sector. As well as providing skills training for industry, the centre will also offer school visits and work experience opportunities to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist in the offshore and renewable energy sectors to young people.
To celebrate the official opening, 80 business leaders turned out to see demonstrations of some of the skills that delegates can acquire at the centre including rescues by rope access and in confined spaces, scaling the wind turbine tower, first aid resuscitation and rigging and lifting exercises.
Paul Stonebanks, managing director of AIS, said: “Today has been a fantastic opportunity to show off our completed training facility and the first class training opportunities it offers to employees and employers alike in the wind, offshore and maritime industries. We are now looking forward to cementing the reputation of the North East as a global centre of excellence for offshore, maritime and wind training.”
Michael Bang of Maersk Training said: “Sectors like renewable energy are experiencing unprecedented growth and have resulting skills shortages that need to be plugged. That’s where our centre is ideally placed to help equip the workforce with the skills that are needed.”
AIS received support from North Tyneside Council for the centre, which forms part of North Tyneside’s widerLearningVillage initiative. Elected Mayor forNorth Tyneside, Mrs Linda Arkley, officially launched the centre. She said: “It is fantastic that we have this tremendous learning and training hub on our doorstep. “The north bank of the Tyne is one of the country’s key locations for the offshore renewable energy sector and, with the help of Enterprise Zone status, it is set to create thousands of new jobs. It is vital that we provide people with the skills they need to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. The Offshore Learning and Skills centre, as part of theLearningVillage, aims to do exactly that.”
Source: AIS Group