Lowestoft: College develops courses to provide insight into energy sector

Celia Anderson, second from right, of Skills for Energy, with (from left) Ian Ashman, Jo Pretty and

Celia Anderson, second from right, of Skills for Energy, with (from left) Ian Ashman, Jo Pretty and Ferlin Quantrill of Lowestoft College at the launch of the new energy courses. - Credit: Archant

A new series of courses has been developed in partnership with Lowestoft College to give non-technical people an insight into the energy industry.

The one-day courses will provide an overview on energy, oil & gas, offshore wind and nuclear power to equip people with a wider range of knowledge on the industry.

Celia Anderson, executive director of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), who leads the Skills for Energy programme, said the initiative, developed with Lowestoft College, was key to encouraging broader awareness within the energy sector.

“There are lots of people working in the industry, or looking to work in it, who don’t have a technical background. They might be employed in areas like finance, the law or human resources, where an overview of the sector would really help to put their role into context,” she said.

“The courses could also benefit small companies looking to get into the supply chain and people looking for a change of career.

“The programme is the first of its kind anywhere and it fulfils a real need within the industry,” she added.

Speaking at the launch, held at the Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth, Jo Pretty, interim principal of Lowestoft College, said development of the new courses reflected the college’s strong commitment to working with the energy industry.

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It was important for the college to keep up to date with the changing needs of industry, technological advances and practices so it could provide appropriate training for employers, she said, adding that the college welcomed feedback on the new programmes.

The award of a £10million grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership will fund a purpose-built energy and engineering centre and enable the college to extend the provision it offers young people and adults, and the benefit to employers in the local economy.

Ferlin Quantrill, head of engineering at Lowestoft College, said working closely with companies to provide their workforce with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills was vital to the continued success of the sector locally.

“Companies in our area are extremely versatile and have learned to adapt quickly to changing markets, something that other region’s haven’t been able to do so well,” he said. “We are keen to reflect this in these new courses, which will be built around the most up-to-date information available to us.”

The first of the courses will be held later this month. For more information visit www.skillsforenergy.co.uk or by call 01493 446535.