Prime Minister Theresa May has officially opened the Energy Centre at Berkshire College of Agriculture, Maidenhead. It is the UK’s first renewable energy training facility at a further education college.
The facility aims to help address the skills shortage in the UK’s renewable energy sector. The centre’s courses will enable – for the first time – students aged 16-19 to gain accredited technical qualifications in renewable energy.
“It’s vital that young people have the education and skills to take on the jobs needed for the future,” said the Prime Minister. “So I was pleased to be able to meet with students who, through using the new energy centre, will be given the training and opportunity to make a real difference to help protect our planet for future generations.”
“The renewable energy sector offers sustainable employment but currently lacks accredited training and skills.”
The UK has been allocated a target to increase the proportion of its renewable energy use to 15% by 2020. There is currently a shortfall of 50% in the 12% target for the generation of heat from renewable sources and a shortfall of 18% in the 30% target for the generation of electricity from renewables.
Gillian May, BCA Principal, said: “The College enrolled 12 new apprentices in April 2018 for this and associated programmes. We already have two biomass boilers and engine rooms on campus; the addition of this new centre provides the facility for the development of professionally recognised training for this sustainable energy provision.”
Mark Lebus, Managing Director of LC Energy, said: “The renewable energy sector offers sustainable employment but currently lacks accredited training and skills. By widening access to training we can eliminate the skills shortage and play our part in creating a Britain fit for the future – outlined in the Government’s recent Industrial Strategy.”