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Double celebration for East Anglia's offshore energy sector

PUBLISHED: 13:42 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 26 November 2019

An external view of the new £11.7m energy skills centre, which is located adjacent to Lowestoft Sixth Form College on Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Colllege

An external view of the new £11.7m energy skills centre, which is located adjacent to Lowestoft Sixth Form College on Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Colllege

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Energy and maritime training provider Maersk Training has announced a partnership with East Coast College.

Representatives of Maersk and East Coast College celebrate the training partnership. Picture: Furthermore MarketingRepresentatives of Maersk and East Coast College celebrate the training partnership. Picture: Furthermore Marketing

The company will provide training courses from the college's Energy Skills Centre in Lowestoft and East of England Offshore training centre in Great Yarmouth.

Following the opening of the £11.4m Energy Skills Centre earlier this month, this partnership combines the college's world-class facilities with Maersk's experience and expertise.

Operations Manager at Maersk Training, Michael Prater-Cockayne, said: "Maersk Training are excited for this opportunity to work beside East Coast College, to support and develop the industry in the east coast area. The excellent facilities offered by East Coast College lend themselves to create a state-of-the-art training centre to not only enhance available skills development in the region, but also to support the community."

The new Energy Skills Centre, home to the East Coast Energy Training Academy, will now be able to offer new offshore and renewable courses to around 1,000 students every year.

Thanks to this partnership, the college will be able to expand its portfolio with Maersk Training to include courses on blade repair in its 2020 curriculum.

Stuart Rimmer, chief executive of East Coast College, said: "A partnership between East Coast College and Maersk Training provides the region with an opportunity to significantly increase the responsiveness and quality for skills development for offshore wind.

"Maersk Training is an internationally recognised brand, standing for the highest quality training.

"Aligning with East Coast College, with the recent opening of the Energy Skills Centre in Lowestoft and East of England Offshore Training Centre in Great Yarmouth, makes perfect sense for the Eastern region as we become a centre of national significance for offshore renewables."

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The news has been welcomed across the offshore energy sector, with Simon Gray, the chief executive of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), saying: "It's fantastic to see this excellent new addition to the skills and training provision in the region. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the college and their training providers."

The news came ahead of a highly successful, fifth annual East Anglia Offshore Wind Week held in conjunction with Renewable UK's national programme dedicated to the offshore wind sector. Held at OrbisEnergy, in Lowestoft, the event focussed on the continued development of offshore wind power off the east coast. Each year, the event provides participants the opportunity to network with key players, hear project updates on future plans from developers and identify new opportunities in the offshore wind sector.

With well over 50% of installed capacity of offshore wind off the coasts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, and an ever growing pipeline of projects, the East of England is at the very centre of offshore wind development nationally and internationally.

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