The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult has adopted a community engagement strategy that focuses resources and expertise in support of STEM education in local communities, delivering impactful social benefit.
Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult is a core partner in the Energy Central Campus (ECC), a transformational, business-led skills, education and innovation development to support growth in the low-carbon energy sector in Blyth and around the North East of England.
The ECC has received ~£26m in Government funding, via the Blyth Town Deal. This funding is being used to create a new Energy Central Learning Hub (ECLH), supporting school STEM activities, adult education and 16-18 Further Education activities from September 2024 onwards and a new Energy Central Institute (ECI), which is creating a centre for Higher Education, offering research opportunities and degree apprenticeships from July 2026 onwards.
Working alongside Northumberland County Council and the Port of Blyth, the project is developing local skills for
local jobs and supporting companies to adopt the latest clean growth innovation, providing development pathways, spanning school, Further and Higher Education, which is available to young people, adults and sector employees. Construction of the Learning Hub has commenced with completion scheduled for September 2024, and the Institute following a year behind.
The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult is also involved in the Green Growth Skills Foresighting Project, a £400k consortium project, 70% grant funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, with Newcastle University, Newcastle College, Northumberland College, EPNE and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. Research is underway, which will engage with local industry at technology levels to provide objective evidence of green skills requirements. The results will deliver a research-informed schools engagement programme to raise awareness of future green technology career opportunities, and the development and delivery of green technology sector training courses to facilitate re-skilling and up-skilling.