Newcastle University receives seven-figure funding to support local battery sector

The Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC) has appointed Newcastle University to receive £1.3m in funding to support the North East’s battery manufacturing and innovation sector and skills development.

The University will lead a workforce development initiative for the North East with innovative skills and training academy and apprenticeships. The programme will be delivered in partnership with New College Durham.

The funding supports the ‘National Battery Training and Skills Academy’, a collaboration project between Newcastle University and New College Durham.

The Academy will engage those in the North East with education and skills initiatives, training provision, battery degree apprenticeships, CPD and skills bootcamps, designed to ensure operators and engineers have the skills they need now and for the future It will feature innovative alternative training methods including and virtual reality technology.

The academy will also address the STEM agenda to help engage individuals, particularly school children and young people, supporting the Discovery Museum’s ‘Steam to Green’ exhibition, reaching approximately 320,000 school children.

Professor Colin Herron from Newcastle University’s School of Engineering commented: “The North East hosts the UK’s only lithium-ion battery plant and with the real possibility of a second battery company opening in the future, there is a clear need for expanded workforce training capacity and capability.

“What is unique about our programme is that battery awareness will be brought to the general public and many thousands of school children by bringing the training capabilities of New College Durham, the public sector and Newcastle University together.”

Andy Broadbent, principal and CEO at New College Durham, added: “We’re thrilled to be part of this exciting project. We will be the key location for the hub that will provide training for L2, L3 and L4 qualifications. This will include a mix of full-time courses and apprenticeships.

“As an FE college we have a pipeline of students who we can engage now and from an early age with these new and exciting qualifications. This will ensure we have a long-term solution to addressing the skills gap that is currently present within this sector.”

The FBC, delivered by Innovate UK as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has awarded the funds to Newcastle University through its new £2.5m Battery Workforce Training Initiative.

Credit: Bdaily

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