A £2.25m scheme that aims to put the North East at the forefront of training people for green jobs has been announced.
New College Durham will run skills bootcamps for green skills across the region after receiving £1.2m from the North of Tyne Combined Authority and another £1.05m from the North East LEP. The sessions will focus on areas such as electric vehicle maintenance and housing retrofitting, which are seen as key areas for economic growth, as well as being crucial in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.
The sessions, which last up to 16 weeks, are available for anyone aged over 19, with hopes that they will give people the chance to land jobs in green industries. They come after a recent report warned that up to 80,000 jobs could be created in the drive to decarbonise homes and help the region meet net zero targets, but training people to fill those roles will be a major challenge.
North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll, said: “The climate crisis is no longer a thing of the future. It’s here. It’s now. And we urgently need the skills to tackle it. We need the builders who can retrofit our homes, the mechanics who can fix our electric vehicles, and more.
“That’s why these green skills ‘bootcamps’ are so important. So we have the right people with the right skills in the right industries to reduce our carbon emissions and create a better, safer future.”
Michelle Rainbow, skills director at the North East LEP, said: “We worked with the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub to commission a study into the number and type of skilled jobs that will be needed in the North East, as we work to reach the UK’s net zero targets.
“The findings are now informing the range of skills bootcamps which will be rolled out in our region and these skills bootcamps delivered by New College Durham form a core part of the new training offer. They’ll upskill people in our region, allowing them to take advantage of these new jobs in the green economy.”
Last month a study commissioned by the North East LEP and funded by the North East and Yorkshire (NEY) Net Zero Hub found that “there is a need to transition from the current employment of 1,000 full-time equivalent workers to 80,000 if we are to achieve net zero by 2030”. But the report warned that “the scale of the challenge is monumental” and new workers would need to come from school leavers, the unemployed, people already in connected sectors, as well as “horizontal entrants” from areas such as the Armed Forces and other sectors that have seen contraction in recent years.
Andy Broadbent, principal and chief executive at New College Durham, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the funding to run the Skills Bootcamps. These programmes will respond to the huge changes in the housing, building and automotive sectors and give employers the opportunity to help to close emerging skills gaps by upskilling their employees through New College Durham. In addition, they will provide local people with the training required to secure employment within these industries.”
Separately, the college has also secured £2.95m in funding from the Department for Education to support the development of a new £10m technical and higher education hub.
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