Catch reveals £60m South Humber vision
The regional skills agency wants to expand its Stallingborough headquarters in partnership with major industry names Phillips 66, VPI Power and Harbour Energy.
Catch, which was established in 1999 with its training centre launching in 2006, wants to reach a training goal of 1,000 apprentices a year by 2029 at Stallingborough.
The organisation believes that with skills shortages continuing to plague engineering and construction, and a series of net zero projects requiring 20,000 jobs in the pipeline, the time is right to push on with the project, with industry backing.
Initial plans have been developed as Catch works towards a future final investment decision.
Subject to further partner engagement and planning permission, the new facility is intended house a national net zero conference and learning centre, bespoke classrooms and workshops for electrical, instrumentation, mechanical technical skills, a welding and fabrication hub with 160 welding bays, and a UK first of kind outdoor process unit training module to enable a real process site experience in a safe environment for all trade skills.
In addition, provisions cater for enhanced car parking facilities and a dedicated Catch regional bus network to help get talented apprentices to the site from across the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire regions.
“Our phased strategy ensures a sustainable expansion of apprenticeship numbers, targeting the training of 1,000 apprentices annually by 2029,” chief executive David Talbot said:
“The backbone of this initiative’s success will be the support from the industrial supply chain. Many companies understandably are waiting to assess the skills landscape before committing to expanding or creating new apprenticeship vacancies.
“Our proposed new facility helps to mitigate this risk, with dedicated support from the CATCH team, the industrial supply chain can be confident that together we can ensure that the skills pipeline is sustainable for the low carbon future.”
Schools engagement and STEM promotion are at the heart of what Catch does, said Talbot.
He concluded: “It’s a complex picture, and we realise that we cannot do this alone, we all need to pull together as a region, to solve one of the biggest challenges to deploying the net zero infrastructure. This tabled investment represents a vital piece in the puzzle of the UK’s decarbonisation journey.”
Paul Fursey, lead executive UK and Humber Refinery general manager for Texan giant Phillips 66, said: “To build the infrastructure required to deliver net zero for the UK, we need to invest in creating the skilled workforce of tomorrow.
“Catch’s new Net Zero Training Centre will become a hub of excellence, demonstrating how the UK can increase the knowledge and skills needed to deliver the net zero targets.
“Through support from Phillips 66 Limited and our fellow delivery sponsors, Harbour Energy and VPI, local industry support, and local schools and colleges, we believe we can make a powerful difference to inspire the next generation of welders, pipefitters, mechanical fitters, platers, scaffolders and much more.”
Graeme Davies, project director of the Viking CCS carbon capture project, said: “Viking CCS is crucial to unlocking net zero in the UK and helping to decarbonise industries in the Humber, however we need thousands of skilled workers to build the infrastructure to deliver it. This is a huge opportunity for the Humber and North Lincolnshire to be at the epicentre of an enduring green jobs revolution.”