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A training provider on the south Humber bank has become the first to be awarded funding as part of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board’s (ECITB) £1 million investment in Regional Skills Hubs.

The ECITB has awarded CATCH £300,000 to help upgrade its existing welding, pipefitting and electrical training facilities in Stallingborough near Grimsby.

The upgrade is part of a joint venture with industry to increase learning capacity at the training centre by 100% over the next two years, as part of a broader Humber Skills Plan to increase training output by 1000% by 2029.

The ECITB’s £1 million investment in Regional Skills Hubs is designed to boost training provider capacity and grow new entrant numbers in the ‘Industrial Cluster’ hot spots and other major engineering construction industry (ECI) centres of activity which will be at the heart of the UK’s decarbonisation agenda.

ECITB Chief Executive Andrew Hockey said: “The ECITB is delighted to support CATCH as it continues to develop a pipeline of trained, skilled workers for major engineering construction projects in the Humber region.

“We know from the Labour Forecasting Tool (LFT), launched in December, that the labour demand gap for new workers in the engineering construction industry will get wider with an estimated shortfall of 40,000 workers by 2028.

“The Regional Skills Hub grant is targeted specifically on capacity-building projects in the UK’s industrial heartlands that will directly increase the flow of workers into the industry.

“The proposal clearly highlighted the project participants’ commitment, externally leveraged funding and clear outputs and delivery milestones.

“Our investment will support the training of more skilled workers to help decarbonisation projects, such as the Viking CCS projects in this area. This decarbonisation project has Track 2 status and a diverse range of cluster members.

“CATCH and its stakeholders have ambitious expansion plans to increase the extra skilled workers needed to support the UK’s largest industrial cluster contribute to the country’s net zero goals.”

Two-phase expansion plan at CATCH

The first phase of CATCH’s expansion plan is a £2 million joint venture between the industry-led training centre, initial investors Phillips 66 Limited, VPI Immingham power station and Harbour Energy, alongside the ECITB’s funding.

A refit to its training centre during summer 2024 will see CATCH’s welding, pipefitting, instrumentation and electrical bays upgraded.

Phase two will see the development of a new £60 million National Net Zero Training Centre by 2029, which will look to deliver 1,000 learners a year.

David Talbot, Chief Executive at CATCH, said: “This £300,000 funding from the ECITB marks a significant milestone for CATCH.

“It secures the transformation of our training facilities in Stallingborough, as we move towards our goal of increasing our learning capacity by 100% this year as part of scaling up the number of new entrants to industry to create the workforce that is required for our region to build net zero infrastructure.

“As we embark on this exciting journey, we are extremely grateful for the support of our industry partners and the ECITB, aligning with our vision to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for the Humber region’s engineering construction projects.”

Paul Fursey, UK Lead Executive and General Manager Humber Refinery at Phillips 66 Limited, said: “It is great to see the support from the ECITB in the development of a leading National Net Zero Training Centre.

“There is a great urgency to increase apprenticeships and skilled resources locally and nationally to support the development of critical UK infrastructure.

“Year after year we are seeing a drop in skilled labour, and it is vital we act now. CATCH is a great example of how industry and public bodies can come together to combat this.”

Grants for decarbonisation projects

The ECITB is keen to work with more clients, contractors and training providers across the six major industrial cluster regions to invest in growing the number of skilled workers needed for other major decarbonisation projects.

The cluster regions are the Black Country, East Coast (comprising Teesside and Humber), north-west England, Scotland, South Wales and the Solent.

Funding of between £50,000 and £500,000 will be awarded to eligible projects that meet set criteria, including the need to match ECITB grant funding with investment from industry partners.

To find out more initial contact should be made to Andy Brown, Chief Operating Officer: or David Nash, Director of Strategy and Policy:

Read more about the criteria and what grants can be used for

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