United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK to get first college of wind

UK: The UK Government has revealed plans to build the country's first college devoted to wind energy, making an initial investment of around £20 million.

The college will focus on providing training for the offshore wind sector
The college will focus on providing training for the offshore wind sector

The National College for Wind Energy will have a focus on the offshore wind sector, and is expected to attract a further £20 million in funding from industry partners. This initial investment will cover the running of the college up until 2017.

It is set to open its doors in Hull in north east England in 2016, and the government said it believes around 2,500 students will be trained at the facility by 2020.

The college will offer a number of different levels of training in different areas, from post-school courses to post-graduate qualifications.

Business secretary Vince Cable said Hull has been chosen for the location due to the planned expansion of the offshore wind industry in the area. In March, Siemens confirmed plans to build a £160 million blade manufacturing plant in Hull.

A spokesman said the government is currently in talks with a number of industry players to secure investment in the project.

While the focus will be offshore wind, it will also offer training relating to onshore wind and marine energy.

There is a significant skills gap in the UK wind industry, with research from trade body RenewableUK in 2013 revealing 37% of employers experience difficulties finding people with the right skills to fill vacancies.

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