Offshore wind training complex launches in North East Lincolnshire

The first phase of a £4 million training facility, geared towards the burgeoning offshore wind energy industry, was today being officially opened.


AIS’s large-scale operation at HCF Catch in Stallingborough was unveiled by Great Grimsby MP Melanie Onn.


The initial development from the North Shields training giant has built on the existing space at the beacon industry-simulating site, with three 7m high mock-nacelles, four different fall arrest devices for high level climbing, as well as lifting and fire escape introduced.


More than 150 invited guests were present to see the arrival, a game-changer for the town that was held up to the nation as an example of a major beneficiary of the industry, earlier this week.


HCF Catch interim chief executive, Katie Hedges, said: "I am delighted to welcome AIS here.


It is our 10th anniversary next year and this complements the existing provision on the site very well.


They are the new training provider in the family and are bringing with them a wide range of training provision that the Humber area really needs."


Civil engineering contractor Jimmy Dean is one of the first to have completed a course with AIS.


The 37-year-old Cleethorpes father-of-two is keen to forge a career in the offshore wind industry.


Mr Dean, who is working for Leeds-based SP Fallons, said: “I have heard a lot about renewables in Grimsby, and I have heard how there are over 70,000 jobs to be created in the next five years.


“It sounds really positive, I was looking for a change of career, as being a contractor you are bouncing from job to job, all over the country.


“I want to make a better life for my family, and I want to get my foot in the door. A role in renewables would be really nice, and with the amount of work coming to Grimsby I wanted to get in early, get the courses done, and really succeed.


“I did some research, spoke with Chris (Holden, former RES Offshore operations manager in Grimsby, Grimsby Renewable Partnership chairman and now site manager), and got a package together, and for the price and the standard, it was excellent.”


The ground-worker, keen to learn the technical side of the turbine trade, did five days in Newcastle and two in Stallingborough, with phase one only complete, with more to come in the next 12 months as the £4 million is invested.


“I didn’t know quite what to expect, but it blew me out of the water, the trainers were amazing,” he said.


Updates to follow.


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