South West College is established as the lead educator in the area of wind turbine and renewable energy technologies in Northern Ireland. This reputation has enabled the College to develop close links with the energy community in the UK, Europe and across the world. The Colleges pioneering approach to industry led learning has seen its recruitment strengthen annually with an increasing demand for specialist training.
In 2005 the college first became involved with the wind industry with the development of the Wind Turbine Installers course developed in conjunction with Action Renewables. Over the past eight year well over 1000 students have become qualified micro wind installers. This course continues to attract attention and is currently been revamped to reflect industry requirements.
Following the success of this program the college developed a foundation degree in Wind Turbine Technology. This course has a broad application, from school leavers and national diploma students to skilled labour employees wanting to up-skill in the field of wind turbine technology. The course focuses on core engineering disciplines and skills incorporating specialist topics covered Wind Technology, an area identified as being strategically important for the Northern Ireland economy. This highly technical and practical course has been designed by South West College in partnership with the University of Ulster and local industry to equip students for advanced technician level work within the wind turbine industry.
A recent development in the college has been the introduction of a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Wind Turbine Operations & Maintenance. The successful completion will lead to the award of a Level 3 qualification and recognition as a qualified person within the sector. There are two elements to this qualification one of which is competence based and the other which is knowledge based. This is a two year program one day per week with a grant available companies. Students under the age of 25 will have no course fees.
Through the South West College’s involvement with the Global Wind Alliance and the South West College Business Development Unit, the InnoTech Centre, the continuing demand for this Foundation Degree is evident. In the past number of years the Innotec Centre have worked with many companies within the Wind industry assisting them with technology development and innovation support.
For more information on wind and renewable technology courses available at South West College please call 0845 603 1881, logon to; www.swc.ac.uk/windtec
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