An Edinburgh college is ensuring it provides a platform to capitalise on the burgeoning growth of Scotland renewables industry by launching the country’s first dedicated renewable energy training centre.
Edinburgh’s Renewable Energy Innovation Centre (EREIC) at Edinburgh’s Telford College will offer extensive training and skills development for workers employed in the renewable and construction industries.
Launched in conjunction with PPL Training – one of the UK’s leading construction and renewables training providers – the centre will provide training in micro-renewable energy sources and complements the more traditional courses offered to learners such as heritage, roofing and brickwork.
Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan officially opened the centre as part of a special exhibition event in which guests were treated to live demonstrations and hands-on workshops, showcasing the training available, as well as the achievements of the learners to date.
Myra Dickson, Head of Employer Services at Edinburgh’s Telford College, said: "We are delighted with the EREIC, as not only is it a real step forward in the types of training we offer, but also helps to affirm and develop the talent within Scotland’s renewable and construction sectors.
"Teaching these new courses alongside the traditional trades will really stand our learners in good stead in their present and future employment in the renewables and construction sectors.
"The new centre will help to ensure that Scotland has workers skilled for modern and environmentally friendly projects thereby meeting the needs of employers and industry both now and in the future."
"It also allows Edinburgh’s Telford College to demonstrate its determination to evolve to ensure it is delivering courses that provide opportunities our new and current generations of employees."
More than 80 guests from some of Scotland’s leading construction and renewable companies such as PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies, Solar Century, iPower and Travis Perkins attended the launch event, which was organised by staff and learners at the college.
Lord O’Neill said: "This is a most welcome and far-sighted project. It is one thing to talk about the desirability of sustainable construction and renewable sources of energy. It is quite another to ensure that we have the trained workforce to realise these ambitions.
"Edinburgh’s Telford College and its business partners are to be congratulated on this imaginative development, which can only serve to enhance the quality of construction workers and make a great contribution to the local economy."
Elsewhere, Edinburgh Telford College reinforced its commitment to create better employment opportunities by fostering greater partnership working by hosting a networking dinner with a range of influential local agencies.
The event – headed by Deputy Leader of Edinburgh City Council Steve Cardownie involving bodies such as Scottish Business in the Community, Capital City Partnership, Forth Neighbourhood Partnership and Barnardo’s Works – aimed to discuss how the groups could work together to improve outcomes for the local community.
Councillor Cardownie agreed that the meeting would be followed up with another session so that the outcomes and recommendations from the discussions could be shared and could be moved forward to benefit North Edinburgh’s employability needs.
Edinburgh’s Telford College principal Miles Dibsdall, OBE, said: "The success of this highly valuable networking event, coming so soon after the launch of the renewable energy centre, ideally illustrates the focus we have made to provide the best possible employment and training opportunities for people, both in the North Edinburgh area and further afield."
Edinburgh’s Telford College is one of Scotland’s largest independent further education facilities. They provide a wide range of employer led programmes designed to help its learners progress into work or University.