Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC), has welcomed the first students through the doors at the new Lancashire Energy HQ.
The cutting-edge facility is the flagship development on the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and offers a wide range of energy-related courses supporting the workforce of Lancashire to retrain or upskill and enabling future employment in the energy sector.
The Lancashire coast is very much an energy generating coast and Lancashire Energy HQ has been co-designed with employers to support their workforce requirements.
It has been wholly-funded by Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership and Blackpool and The Fylde College, an exempt charity, to deliver training and education to support the renewable energy sectors, as well as nuclear technologies, oil and gas and welding practices.
The Renewable Energy Engineering programme is already underway and students are delighted to be among the first learning vital industry skills to prepare them for roles in industry.
The programme gives them a complete overview across the renewables sector before they choose which area to specialise in.
Stephen Kay, 44, from Lytham St Annes, said: “It is fantastic to be learning in a facility like this to get into an industry which is only going to keep growing.
“We’re all interested in different areas of renewable energy but I have no doubt we’ll all be working in the industry in a few years.”
William Higgins, 22, from South Shore, Blackpool, added: “We are getting taught about all the different areas of renewable energy production, from health and safety to supply chain roles and sustainability.
“I live across the road so watched the College being built. My dad was putting solar panels on the roof of our house at the time and told me renewable energy was the future so I should sign up.
“He was right. Current energy sources are unsustainable and we will only have renewables soon so there will be lots of jobs for people with the right skills, which is what we’re getting here.”
Lancashire Energy HQ is a purpose-built facility and includes the education sector’s largest renewable and nuclear simulator in England; three large engineering and renewable technologies workshops; a metals engineering laboratory; a purpose-built welding facility and a resource centre equipped with Auto CAD software.
Mandy Pritchard, Head of Engineering and Science at Blackpool and The Fylde College said: “At B&FC, we’re really proud to be leading the way on providing highly skilled employees for the expanding energy sector. Lancashire Energy HQ enables students to develop vital skills to ensure they are workplace-ready when they leave us.
“This facility and the programmes we will deliver here were designed in conjunction with industry professionals to ensure we are providing exactly what the sector needs for its employees.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about learning opportunities leading to employment in the energy sector, should contact Lancashire Energy HQ on (01253) 504 343 or email [email protected]