Dundee & Angus College has invested more than £1 million in refurbishing its engineering, construction, science buildings – and purchased specialist equipment – to ensure it continues to meet the training demands of the Scottish energy industry.
An £800,000 European Regional Development Fund grant – aimed originally at addressing the demand for local skills provision in the offshore wind industry – allowed the college to use capital monies as match funding to develop resources in these associated disciplines.
The cash grant also allowed D&A College to buy cutting-edge equipment to help deliver the training demanded by the energy industry, including: 48 state of the art welding bays, a mechanical pipe fitting rig to help train engineering, electrical and renewables students; portable COMPEX electrical engineering for high voltage testing and maintenance in industry standard conditions; and two large-scale industrial diesel engines.
A spokesman explained: “Due to significant delays in investment decisions in offshore wind manufacturing in Scotland, the college project had to widen its focus from specifically supporting investment in offshore wind renewables to addressing the skills required to support operations and maintenance across the energy industry,
“We could then invest in equipment based on customer feedback from within the energy sector – enabling Dundee and Angus businesses to reskill their existing staff and recruit new apprentices and young people with the skills required.”
The procurement of the new equipment took place after the consultation with industry had taken place ensuring the college purchased the most relevant equipment for training.
The mechanical training rig mimics industrial situations including working at heights, confined spaces and allows students to remove mechanical equipment for mock refurbishment, installation and commissioning.
Jim Stewart, head of engineering at D&A College, said: “This investment will provide our engineering apprentices, students and industry partners, the opportunity to undertake their training using industry-standard equipment which will significantly enhance their learning experience.
“This will offer benefits not just to the energy sector but for other industries where underpinning engineering and electrical skills are required.”