Energy Centre officially opened

GCS Training, the business training arm of Gower College Swansea, has officially opened a brand new Energy Centre at its new Hill House site.

Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, was among the special guests at the launch event. The Minister was shown around the fully refurbished facilities and saw first-hand how the centre will deliver state-of-the-art training courses for the electrical, gas and plumbing trades.

“Our investment in the Energy Centre clearly demonstrates the college’s commitment to the environment and should place us at the cutting edge of all teaching and training for renewable technologies,” says Gower College Swansea Principal, Mark Jones. “We aim to establish a Centre of Excellence for renewable energy at Hill House and be the leading South Wales training provider for this sector.”

GCS Training has already forged links with leading employers such as Tata Steel, Smart Energy Wales, City and County of Swansea, Green Tech, Amroc Heating, Westward Energy Services and Advanced Heating Wales Ltd, many of whom were represented at the launch event.

“The Energy Centre is an exciting new facility offering training programmes in gas, electrical, plumbing and renewable energy,” says the Deputy Minister. “I hope it encourages young people to consider training in these sectors while providing a vital role for local employers.”

“I’ve also been encouraged to learn more about how GCS Training is developing its links with local employers. I’m committed to ensuring high quality, demand-led training opportunities for our young people and want more employers to play an active role in developing and supporting programmes.”

One of the speakers at the launch event was Dee McCullough, who joined the college as a student back in 2003, completing her NVQ plumbing qualification before taking the ACS gas assessment.

As a qualified engineer in heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass boilers, she now heads up a local renewable energy company, Energywise-Wales Ltd. Not only has Dee continued her own professional development with GCS Training, she also ensures her employees attend the college.

“We are very excited about this new local Centre of Excellence,” she says. “As a company installing the latest renewable technology such as air and ground source heat pumps, PV and biomass boilers, we need engineers who have been expertly trained and can offer our clients a high level of service.”

Investment in the Energy Centre, which was initially proposed by GCS Training staff as part of the college’s Innovation Fund project in 2014, includes £50,000 worth of equipment supplied by leading industry manufacturer Viessmann.

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