A new multi-million pound national training college is set to help meet growing demand for wind energy professionals in the UK.

Announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, earlier this month, The National College for Wind Energy will train the next generation of industry engineers and technicians for the offshore, onshore and marine energy sectors.

Based in the Humber area but with a planned network of partners across the UK, it will be the country’s first national college dedicated to renewable energy.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of renewable energy trade association RenewableUK, said:

"The growth in much needed wind projects onshore and offshore has created a real demand for new skills and training as the sector goes from strength to strength.

"The college’s launch means we are one step closer to ensuring our global lead in offshore wind is reflected in home-grown skills as well."

An undisclosed number of energy firms have guaranteed funding for the new college. The government department for Business, Innovation and Skills has also promised to match private sector investment, according to RenewableUK.

The college was first proposed to the government by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and RenewableUK. It is expected to be financially self-sufficient once up and running.

More than a third of wind and marine power employers are already finding it difficult to fill vacancies, according to RenewableUK.

The so-called hub of the college, to be located in the Humber area, will focus primarily on offshore wind training in an effort to meet future local demand: work has already begun on Siemens’ £310m production facility in Hull, while DONG Energy, E.ON and Statoil all have ongoing projects in the area.

By Jack Wittels