College can help firms with training needs

The college's David Fairweather and Airvolution's Richard Mardon sign the TETF
The college's David Fairweather and Airvolution's Richard Mardon sign the TETF

Up to 250 New College Lanarkshire students could gain employment if a wind farm development is granted planning permission.

At the Motherwell campus last week a deal was signed between the college and Airvolution Energy Ltd, the firm behind the proposed Shotts Wind Farm scheme.

A planning application for the scheme is currently being considered by North Lanarkshire Council which would see nine turbines up to 131 metres high situated between Shotts, Harthill and Eastfield to produce enough power for 13,000 homes.

If successful Airvolution will establish the Training and Employment Trust Fund (TETF) which would be worth £45,000 annually to the college.

Over the anticipated 25 year life span of the wind farm the total investment would be in the region of £1.12 million, enough to support 250 apprenticeship places for 16-24 year olds.

In addition Airvolution will provide a further £90,000 per annum for community programmes and committed to spend a third of the construction costs (around £1,.6 million) with North Lanarkshire companies.

Airvolution chief executive Richard Mardon said: “We’re delighted to sign this agreement with New College Lanarkshire.

“At a time of high youth unemployment, gaining a skill is the first step to getting into the job market.

“There has never been a better time for youngsters to consider a career in the renewable energy industry.

“Working with the college we believe the Training and Employment Trust Fund will ensure a steady stream of well trained young people ready to take advantage of job opportunities as they arise in the local area.”