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We are at cutting edge of energy development

By Chris Corken

In 2010 the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) commissioned a report examining the potential of sustainable energy to deliver economic opportunities to support growth.

The report recognised that the skills provision available to employers across the industry in Northern Ireland, must meet needs now and in the future.

It also identified areas to address if Northern Ireland is to take advantage of developments within the sector on the supply and demand of appropriately skilled labour, determining that at least 500 operatives per year would be required in Northern Ireland, 86% of which would be new to the sector.

The planned increase in energy from renewable sources in the UK by 2020, in particular wind, is creating a demand for individuals, with the necessary skills and knowledge, to operate and maintain on and offshore sites. Belfast Metropolitan College and B9 Energy have combined their expertise to provide solutions for the delivery of training and knowledge within the wind sector and are working closely with Invest NI and DEL to ensure our engagements are aligned with strategies to embed key economic policy.

Belfast Met is facilitating the development of the Energy Skills Training Network, an industry-led initiative created to provide a coherent approach to the development of relationships with stakeholders in the offshore energy sector, with the objective of providing a route to employment within existing oil, gas, offshore wind and marine industries throughout the UK and Europe.

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