Pictured above are Freddie Chisholm, Jonathan Macleay and Jamie Morrison undertaking welding training at the College along with Alasdair Macdonald, Fabrication and Welding Tutor and Roddy Ferguson, Head of Technology

A new training programme at the Arnish Yard is getting under way this summer.

Lews Castle College UHI have teamed up with DF Barnes/BiFab and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to provide new engineering training opportunities with the Yard.

The programmes are part of a wider initiative to both upskill the local workforce in engineering and help meet the demands of the current contract for the manufacture of foundation piles for offshore wind turbines at Arnish.

Highlights of the new programme include:

  • Submerged-arc welder training for seven candidates who will be trained at the Fabrication and Welding workshop at the college before going to testing and production at the Arnish facility.
  • Work placements for four students from engineering courses at Lews Castle College – they will have the opportunity to work on placement at the Yard, with each student being given a short rotation through the main departments before being allocated to Health and Safety, Quality Control, Plating or Welding for the remainder of the placement.
  • From September 2019 the full-time fabrication and welding courses at the College will include training on submerged-arc welding.

In addition to these opportunities the team are exploring how Lews Castle College can help deliver longer term training to the local workforce in the form of SVQs and Modern Apprenticeships.

The new programme reflects the strong collaborative effort locally to capitalise on the investment at Arnish.

In welcoming the launch of the new programme, Iain Macmillan, Principal & Chief Executive, Lews Castle College said: “The fabrication yard at Arnish is a first class facility that has seen substantial investment in hardware over recent years.  The College is pleased to be involved with DF Barnes/BiFab and local agencies in ensuring there is an equally first class, highly skilled workforce in the islands that will be equipped to meet current and future skills demands from a vital sector of the local economy.”

Sean Power, Vice President Business Development DF Barnes said:

“We are really pleased to be working in collaboration with Lews Castle College, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and other stakeholders to provide local students and apprentices with fresh opportunities at our Arnish yard.

“We have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome and support we have received from the local community. From the outset, we have made clear our investment programme represents a long-term commitment from DF Barnes.

“These training courses and associated placements are vital for us all in maintaining a skilled workforce that can support and sustain the Arnish yard.

“We would like to thank the College, HIE and everyone in the local community for coming together to create a viable, tailored solution to our current needs.”

Rachel Mackenzie, Area Manager at HIE’s Outer Hebrides area team, said: “Long-term investment from HIE and the Scottish Government has developed the Arnish yard into a world-class facility where excellent infrastructure and equipment match a superb natural location for renewables manufacturing.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with BIFab/DF Barnes & Lews Castle College UHI on this new programme that provides engineering training opportunities for local students. This is great news and further demonstrates the islands’ capability to support the offshore wind sector. It will expand BiFab’s skilled workforce, which is in an excellent position to deliver this major part of current and future contracts.”

For more information on engineering courses offered at the College visit their website or contact the Admission team by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone at 01851 770000.

 

Pictured above are trainees and Lews Castle College students at Arnish with Bill McMillan HIE, Jim Riddell BiFab, Roddy Ferguson and Alasdair Macdonald Lews Castle College