Newcastle College is continuing to drive the green agenda from the heart of the North East with more than 175 students enrolling on its renewable energy courses since 2018.

The uplift is the latest in a line of green energy-focused announcements from the College and NCG, the national college group it is part of. Last year, Head of Energy Alan Goundry was invited to be part of the government’s Green Jobs Taskforce and in September, NCG announced a new Environmental Strategy which set out its commitment to reducing emissions and waste across the seven colleges in the group. Alongside this, Newcastle College’s Director of Industrial Strategy, Andrew Esson has recently been appointed as the Energi Coast Skills Group Lead.

The Energi Coast Skills Group is a collaborative programme between local North East universities, including Durham, Newcastle, Sunderland, Northumbria and Teesside; as well as institutions such as the STEM Ambassador Hub, North East Ambition and Engineering UK.

In a recent global survey of 10,000 young people by Bath University, nearly 60 per cent said they felt very worried or extremely worried about climate change.

Andrew said: “I have spent my career working in and around the energy industry but my work with Newcastle College’s Energy Academy over the past four years has taken me firmly into the offshore wind and green energy sector and reignited my passion for skills and development.

“I am delighted to take on the role of Chair of the Energi Coast Skills Group and I hope to use the opportunity to not only help make the North East the UK’s leading skills centre for Offshore Renewable and Green Energy, but to show young people across the region how they can make a difference to a complex, global issue.

“Driving the green agenda in the North East is a key component of Newcastle College’s 10-year Strategy, and collaborations like this can help provide future generations with the skills and knowledge needed to make changes, make a difference and a better future.”

One of the key objectives in the College’s wider strategy is to help build a climate-conscious workforce through the education and skilling of young people to help the UK fulfil the ambitious target of 2 million green jobs by 2030.

Sam Bullock, a degree student at the Energy Academy, commented: “I decided to enrol on a degree in Renewable Energy and Engineering as I’ve become really aware of the impact that we’re all having on the planet, and I thought it would be a good way to play my part. I feel empowered as I have a better understanding of the bigger picture.”

Newcastle College’s Energy Academy on Hadrian Road, Wallsend, is recognised as a leading training provider of subsea and renewable energy training in the North East and offers a variety of energy-related disciplines from Level 2 to higher education degrees.

Facilities include classrooms, technical laboratories, high-spec welding bays and electrical workshops in which students can train in a range of skills such as welding, solar technology, electrical and mechanical engineering, to name a few. These facilities also allow students to have the opportunity to gain hand-on experience working on wind turbines and with subsea oil and gas recovery systems.

Find out more about Newcastle College’s specialist courses https://www.ncl-coll.ac.uk/subject-areas/renewable-and-subsea.