A North Tyneside firm that is the UK’s leading training provider for the wind energy sector is to open its first facility in the US.

AIS Training has signed a deal with welding specialist Arcon to develop a state-of-the-art offshore wind training centre in Salisbury, Maryland.

The new centre will be purpose-built at Arcon’s existing welding training school to train offshore wind workers in essential skills for the industry. It will be developed in several phases over the next two years.

Part of Arcon’s existing welding school will be converted for the first phase of the centre, which will incorporate a 23ft high training tower, climbing and rescue platforms, and a rope access area with capacity for lifting and rigging and fire training.

AIS Training, which is part of the 3T Energy Group, is the UK’s largest wind training provider, with one in five of the wind industry’s workers choosing to train at its Renewable Energy Training Centre of Excellence in North Shields.

As well as helping with the design of the American facility, AIS Training will lead on obtaining wind industry accreditation, course portfolio development, instructor training, and ongoing operational support and business development.

Geoff Croft, business development manager at AIS Training, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Arcon Training Services. The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing rapidly with several large offshore wind farm projects currently being planned.

“The US East Coast is earmarked as a key location for many of these projects such as the Skipjack wind farm off Maryland, which is planned to host the world’s largest turbines – GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12-megawatt wind turbines. Maryland was therefore a natural choice to fully support our first US renewable energy training village.

“Studies predict that the US renewable energy sector will generate an estimated 40,000 new jobs nationally by 2030 but finding the right people with the right skills to fill these jobs will be a key challenge.

“As the UK’s largest wind training provider, AIS Training has an exceptional record of delivering highly skilled, competent and talented workers for the global wind sector. We also have vast experience of developing world-class training facilities and see enormous potential for Maryland to become a global leader in wind training.

“We are very excited to be working with Arcon to help put this area on the worldwide map for wind skills.”

Originally published in Business-Live