£60m National Net Zero Training Centre plan unveiled for South Humber Bank

Ambitious plans to develop a new £60 million National Net Zero Training Centre on the South Humber Bank have been revealed. Beacon skills facility Catch has set out its vision of a much-expanded Stallingborough base, with a goal of training 1,000 apprentices before the end of the decade.

In doing so it aims to tackle the engineering construction skill shortages anticipated in the Humber cluster and across the UK. It is in anticipation of a series of Net Zero projects set to kick off from next year, with significant and continued demand for skilled labour on the horizon. Initial support has been secured from members behind the area’s carbon capture and storage project – and allied operations – Phillips 66, Harbour Energy, and VPI Power.

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David Talbot, Catch chief executive, said: “Our mission is clear: to inspire and educate the industry’s future craftspeople. The UK’s path to net zero starts with today’s youth, and we’re here to ensure they have the resources, skills, and opportunities to lead the way.

“It’s a complex picture, and we realise that we cannot do this alone, we all need to pull together as a region, to solve one of the biggest challenges to deploying the net zero infrastructure. This tabled investment represents a vital piece in the puzzle of the UK’s decarbonisation journey.”

Around 20,000 new industrial jobs are eyed as part of the decarbonisation journey, with the strengthening of traditional industries and new energy intensive operations attracted to a plug-in solution, which itself needs substantial infrastructure. Mr Talbot said it necessitates an “unprecedented, rapid upscaling of the existing skills pipelines”.

An artist's impression of the proposed £60 million National Net Zero Training Centre at Catch in Stallingborough.
An artist’s impression of the proposed £60 million National Net Zero Training Centre at Catch in Stallingborough, with the existing facility to the right.

The team is building further support across industry and government for the proposal, and subject to further partner engagement and planning permission, the new facility is planned to house a national net zero conference and learning centre, bespoke classrooms and workshops for electrical, instrumentation, mechanical technical skills, a welding and fabrication hub with an impressive 160 welding bays, and a UK first-of-kind outdoor process unit training module to enable a real process site experience in a safe environment for all trade skills.

“Our phased strategy ensures a sustainable expansion of apprenticeship numbers, targeting the training of 1,000 apprentices annually by 2029,” Mr Talbot said. “The backbone of this initiative’s success will be the support from the industrial supply chain. Many companies understandably are waiting to assess the skills landscape before committing to expanding or creating new apprenticeship vacancies. Our proposed new facility helps to mitigate this risk, with dedicated support from the Catch team, the industrial supply chain can be confident that together we can ensure that the skills pipeline is sustainable for the low carbon future.”

Launched in 2006, around a process unit simulation and modest conference centre and class room set up, Catch has already had several phases of expansion with in-house and third party provision on the Kiln Lane site. Under this proposal transport linksand car parking will be improved, with a dedicated schools’ engagement team to explain STEM career paths while “fuelling aspirations”.

While a huge solar park is currently under construction on neighboruging land, the artist’s impression also includes and onshore wind turbine and on-site solar.

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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