Newcastle College and ORE Catapult win Education Award for Visionary Partnership

Newcastle College’s visionary relationship with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy, received the award for Business Collaboration and Partnerships in FE/HE at the Educate the North Awards.

The collaboration between the two North East businesses saw the installation of the world’s most advanced immersive Hybrid Reality (iHR) training system for the wind industry at Newcastle College’s Energy Academy earlier this year, a unique tool which provides a safe training environment for wind turbine engineers and puts the College at the forefront of skills training for the region’s energy sector.

Director of Business Partnerships, Marc McPake said: “Collaboration with employers is at the centre of everything we do at Newcastle College and our training and development is shaped around skills required by industries across our region. Our partnership with ORE Catapult is a fantastic example of how this approach can benefit our students and have a positive impact on an entire industry. To receive an award which recognises our efforts in this area is a fantastic achievement and this is something we aim to replicate to tackle skills gaps across every industry.”

The award recognises the college’s collaboration with industry to ensure that the qualifications, facilities and skills programmes it offers meet employer demand across the North East.

Prior to the win, ORE Catapult signed up as a Gold Partner to the Energy Academy’s Employer Partnership Initiative, which prioritises collaboration with industry in order to provide skills training and pathways into employment for students, whilst addressing key skills gaps in the North East.

Tony Quinn, ORE Catapult’s Operations Director, said: “The award win is fantastic recognition of this innovative training tool and Newcastle College’s ability to embed it within their vocational courses.

“It highlights perfectly how industry and education can collaborate to develop skills for the offshore wind sector. As an Employer Partner, we look forward to working closely with Newcastle College to further support skills development in the sector.”