Education Partnership North East will be sharing how it is investing in in a greener future for Northumberland as part of Net Zero Awareness Week.

Iain Nixon, Vice Principal of Partnerships and Commercial at the college group, which includes Northumberland College, is a speaker at an Advance Northumberland webinar which will examine the county’s strengths in renewable energy, the challenges education and businesses are facing, new initiatives and support of green skills.

Northumberland is flying the flag for renewable energy, innovation and development, and its infrastructure is supporting the transition to a greener economy.

The region is key to the growth of the UK offshore wind industry. It is providing opportunities for battery manufacturing and electrification initiatives and has a long-standing heritage in subsea engineering and the maritime industry.

One of the exciting developments to be discussed at the Growing Northumberland’s green economy – Unlocking the skills potential event will be the new the new ‘Gen Zero’ Ashington Campus which will be built at Wansbeck Business Park. Supported by the Department for Education, the new facility will be as close as possible to carbon neutral in both construction and operation.

The campus will include an advanced manufacturing, engineering and construction skills centre and a green transport, automotive and logistics hub, which will help to support skills development in offshore wind and automotive electrification.

Iain will also discuss how EPNE is helping to close the green skills gap through a Northumberland College led Strategic Development Fund project to reshape technical skills training in the low carbon energy generation and electric and hybrid vehicle sectors.

Working in partnership with education providers, employers and key organisations, provides new courses in battery manufacture, vehicle electrification, micro renewables, and offshore wind, as well as investing in specialist, technical equipment to support teaching, training, and delivery.

A STEM outreach programme for schools and local community organisations will also be established to raise awareness of the green energy and green transport sectors and showcase the many careers available in the sector.

Hear new perspectives on green skills… and discuss the challenges and opportunities at the Growing Northumberland’s green economy – Unlocking the skills potential webinar

Experts from across the public and private sectors will be examining Northumberland’s strengths in renewable energy, the challenges education and businesses are facing, and new initiatives and support in green skills, in a webinar on July 7.

The event is being run by Advance Northumberland as part of Net Zero Week™, the UK’s Net Zero awareness week, which runs from July 1 to July 7.

Taking place from 10am to 11am, the webinar will be hosted by Michael Harriott, Senior Business Growth, and Investment Manager at Advance Northumberland, and will feature:

  • Iain Nixon, Group Vice Principal, Partnerships & Commercial of education provider Education Partnership North East
  • Jenny Hudson, Business Development Director of Instrumentation, Telemetry, IoT and AI Technology pioneer Transmission Dynamics
  • Alex Wardle, HSE & Sustainability Manager at global coatings expert AkzoNobel
  • Andrew Esson, Future Skills Lead at Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
  • Emma Hutchinson, Adult Education Budget Manager, the North of Tyne Combined Authority

These guest contributors will be focusing on topics such as which green skills are required by industry as we move to Net Zero, the role of education and training providers in the transition to a greener economy, and how Northumberland can grow its skills pool to address the skills gap.

The session, which is free to attend, will also look at how Northumberland residents can take advantage of opportunities in areas such as offshore wind, battery manufacturing, electrification, hydrogen and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS), energy storage and energy efficiency.

To be part of the conversation on green skills in Northumberland, register for the webinar at

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19