Altitec, the blade repair and inspection specialist, has confirmed a major five-figure investment in Altitec Academy, its dedicated London training division. Altitec Academy is recognized as an industry-certified training centre of excellence, and this investment will enable its expert staff to train up to 180 blade-repair technicians every year to help address a gap in the growing wind industry.
Continued success of the on- and offshore wind sectors in the UK and worldwide is, in part, dependent on the capacity of industry to attract and maintain a steady flow of new talent and skilled labor. According to RenewableUK figures, UK wind and marine renewables could employ close to 90,000 people by 2021.
Training and re-training schemes will play a crucial role in meeting this demand and addressing a skills gap that has led to an industry-wide shortage of qualified technicians. Altitec’s sustained investment in the Altitec Academy is targeted at strengthening the firm’s team of highly trained personnel and at raising the standard of rope access, blade repair, and inspection throughout the sector.
Established in 2010 to provide the wind sector with direct access to the substantial pool of knowledge and expertise accumulated by Altitec’s team of rotor-blade technicians, Altitec Academy has grown to become the most comprehensive training provider for repair and inspection techniques in the industry.
Following this significant capital investment in its dedicated training facility in London, the Altitec Academy will enable a wider pool of apprentices to benefit from its unique combination of hands-on learning and practical application, reinforced by sound theoretical instruction.
Altitec’s in-house facilities provide authentic simulation of a rope-access, blade-servicing scenarios like at an operational wind farm, while classroom-based activities provide participants with an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from technicians and trainers who continue to operate in the field, and who have over 15 years of international blade inspection and repair experience.
The intensive five-day training courses offered by the Altitec Academy include the RenewableUK accredited “Awareness and Basic Rotor Blade Inspection and Repair” (BRAI) certification– providing an insight into how to spot operational rotor blade damage and conduct minor blade surface repairs – and Altitec’s in-house “Composite Rotor Blade Repair Training” module, teaching the fundamentals of rotor-blade repair off the ground.
Combined, these certificates leave participants well-placed either to take key skills and lessons learnt back to operational wind farms throughout the UK and Europe or start careers as blade technicians in the expanding on- and offshore sectors.
“Demand for qualified blade technicians is at an all-time high in the global wind energy sector,” said Tom Dyffort, Managing Director, Altitec Group. “Faced with this growing necessity, we have a responsibility to ensure that the requirements of the industry continue to be met – and that the employment and re-training opportunities that this creates, both within Altitec and further afield with other service providers, are realized.”
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