bp has today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Redcar & Cleveland College in Redcar, Teesside, to support the creation of a range of educational programmes to help equip people in Teesside with the green career skills needed for the future.
As part of the arrangement, bp will provide £50,000 in funding for the development of the new Clean Energy Education Hub at the College. The Hub will specialise in clean energy and renewable industry training for school leavers, apprentices and adult learners.
The college and bp will together seek to develop a careers pathway plan based on skills demand for the proposed projects in the region, which will include higher education, apprenticeships and professional courses. It will respond to employers’ needs through employer-led programmes, with the College drawing on bp’s expertise and network to bolster opportunities for those entering or re-joining the local workforce.
Louise Kingham, bp’s UK head of country and senior vice president of Europe, said: “bp is backing Teesside. It is perfectly placed to become a world-class, low carbon energy hub, creating thousands of jobs in the region. We are committed to social and community investment in Britain, and local partnerships, such as those we are announcing today, which will be crucial in turning our vision for the region into reality.”
Principal of Redcar and Cleveland College, Jason Faulkner said: “We welcome the commitment bp has made not just to Teesside and its potential to lead the charge in the development of the clean energy and renewable sector, but also to inspire and motivate our communities and young people ready for the green career opportunities ahead. Through our Clean Energy Education Hub we will be able to equip school leavers and adults, of all ages, with the skills and training to build high quality meaningful careers in the Tees Valley and having the support and expertise of employers such as bp is essential to that.”
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi added: “It is superb to see businesses like bp leading the way in helping to make sure that people have the skills they need for the green careers of the future.
“Employers working closely with communities in this way helps people get the training they need to get on in sought-after industries in their local area.”
Teesside is uniquely placed to become the heartland of the UK’s energy transition and the financial injection into education will help local people develop the skills needed to help transform Teesside into a green energy hub.
NZT Power, which is a joint venture with Equinor, and the H2Teesside projects have the potential to create significant economic value (£3.5 billion) and thousands of jobs in the region.
NZT Power could support more than 3,000 jobs during construction and over 1,000 jobs once operations begin. H2Teesside could also provide more than 600 operational jobs and another 1,200 construction jobs by 2027.
Through the partnership with the College, bp will also support the Hub’s programmes in educating primary, secondary and college students, helping to inspire young people across Teesside to pursue career opportunities in clean energy.
bp has also expanded its collaboration with the Skills Builder Partnership to support schools in Teesside in improving essential skills and supporting teachers in delivering these skills to their pupils. The programme brings together educators, employers and skills-building organisations around a shared approach to building the essential skills for success.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “With the pioneering Net Zero Teesside Power and its plans for innovative blue and green hydrogen projects, bp is fast becoming one of the biggest supporters of our region, bringing thousands of good-quality jobs. This new MOU shows how it’s going even further to support people into the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future, investing in our institutions and talent for years to come.”
bp will also support the University of York’s Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC) ‘Children Challenging Industry’ programme. Backing 22 primary schools – the aim of the initiative is for young people to experience science in an industrial context working with bp volunteers to see how scientific concepts are applied from classroom scenarios to real life.