Update: Great Yarmouth firm gearing up for jobs boom

3Sun academy investment in their training facility in Great Yarmouth.
Apprentices Jordan Harrison and Zak Brown working on a dissused wind turbine engine which is used to train apprentices.

Picture: James Bass 3Sun academy investment in their training facility in Great Yarmouth. Apprentices Jordan Harrison and Zak Brown working on a dissused wind turbine engine which is used to train apprentices. Picture: James Bass

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
2:22 PM

A Great Yarmouth offshore firm is rapidly expanding its training academy as it gears up for a “huge growth in demand over the next decade”.

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Graham Hacon, managing director of 3SunGraham Hacon, managing director of 3Sun

Since buying out Eastern Training Services two years ago, 3sun Group has moved its operation from Leiston in Suffolk to its company headquarters in Boundary Road, Great Yarmouth.

In the past year the number of students passing through the rebranded 3Sun Academy has increased from 30 to more than 200.

And to meet the evolving needs of offshore work and further anticipated growth, the academy is about to invest a further £350,000 in new classrooms and engineering equipment.

Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo opening 3Sun group new base in Great Yarmouth.

Picture: James BassOlympic boxer Anthony Ogogo opening 3Sun group new base in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

• 3Sun to create 80 jobs across Yarmouth and Aberdeen bases

• Great Yarmouth 3sun’s inspection service hits the £1m mark

• Energy firm opens new base in Denmark

James Hall, operations manager at the academy, which is approved to deliver engineering construction industry training board qualifications, said: “Many training academies are based in Aberdeen but we see huge demand coming up over the next 10 years in this area with the growth of offshore wind and the continuing needs of oil and gas.

“In fact, the demand for technical training in Yarmouth has gone crazy just in the past 12 months.”

Since moving to Yarmouth last year the academy, a separate arm of 3sun Group, has grown its turnover from £150,000 to £500,000.

Mr Hall, who has director-level experience in both the construction and offshore industry, said company manager-director Graham Hacon had grown up in the borough and was proud to have established a training base in Yarmouth.

“As a company we spend close to £1m a year in training our own staff to an exceptionally high standard but two-thirds of the academy business is external training.”

Mr Hall said the energy industry was still facing a “huge skills shortage” and the only way forward was for the academy to work alongside the local colleges with East of England Energy Group’s planned £11m energy skills centre being at the hub.

He said: “What is catching people out is that industry growth might be flatlining at the moment but it is set to go vertical. Windfarm projects will be taking off and building the Sizewell C power station will take a lot of engineers away.”

He said the academy taught a broad range of skills so engineers could meet a variety of needs wherever and whenever they arose, from design through to construction and maintenance.

3Sun Group has seen its turnover rise from £2.4m in 2010 to more than £13m last year and Mr Hall said: “I can see Yarmouth going full circle back to its 1980s heyday provided there are the right business people, like Mr Hacon and Blair Ainslie of Seajacks, driving it forward.”

Is your business seeing the good times return. Contact stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk

2 comments

  • Great to see so many young people having an opportunity in the energy sector. The ECITB were real pathfinders in creation of these important vocational courses.

    Report this comment

    DWW25

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Where are all the doom mongers and purveyors of total nonsense when you need them. Why are we being subjected to positive good news like this without the usual tirade of where everyone's going wrong. Jobs growth in Gt Yarmouth? Surely shome mishtake.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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