New centre will recruit East Lancashire's next generation of electricity supply workers (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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New centre will recruit East Lancashire's next generation of electricity supply workers
A NEW training centre to produce the next generation of electricity supply workers, recruiting apprentices across East Lancashire, is to be created in Blackburn next year.
The state-of-the-art complex is being built as Electricity North-West seeks to replace and reskill its existing ageing workforce.
The £500,000-plus centre, in Whitebirk Drive, will create a handful of new local jobs for trainers and will provide training for 200-plus youngsters, graduates and existing staff each year.
The company – responsible for the grid of wires, underground cables, and pylons that supply electricity to 2.4million homes across the region – is promising to recruit many of its new workers from the area.
The scheme, approved by Blackburn with Darwen Council planning committee, replaces an existing training complex in near Wigan and is expected to double the number of trainees dealt with annually.
The 47-year old Electricity North West training manager Mark Wardman told councillors: “This is a major development. Much of our workforce is my age or older. We need to develop the next generation of staff for our business. This will also be about reskilling our existing workers in a constantly changing technical environment.”
The complex, due to open next summer, will have a purpose-built training centre and an external outdoor training area as well as parking and lanscaping. Hyndburn Council has already given approval for a small area in their borough.
Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss Dave Harling said this was excellent news for the whole of East Lancashire.
Electricity North West HR director Paul Taylor said: “The training facility will support the training of 150 new roles being created over the next few years, whilst providing a new regional hub for training the engineers of the future. The new centre will also allow us to grow our successful apprenticeship scheme, with space for even more apprentices, A-level entrants and graduates.”
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