Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Wind Turbine Apprenticeship UK First!

The UK’s first Wind Turbine Blade Repair apprentice has begun his training at Wales' only Wind Turbine Training Centre, situated at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea campus.

27-year-old Niall Mirza from Colwyn Bay (WTG Offshore) will spend the first of the three years of his apprenticeship training at the college site, before cutting his teeth on offshore wind turbines - Wales’ biggest renewable energy source - for the final two years.

He is the first student to study for this apprenticeship in the UK… And possibly the world! Niall said: “I am extremely excited to be the first person to study for this apprenticeship in the UK. It is amazing to be a part of an industry which is so important, especially at this moment in time.”

Niall was joined at the specialist renewable energy centre this week by eight new Wind Turbine (operational & maintenance) apprentices from RWE, bringing the overall total up to 31. Out of the new intake, four will eventually be based at Rhyl Flats, and four in Grimsby,

Following a collaborative initiative between Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and WTG Offshore over the past six months, the Blade Repair apprenticeship has become a reality, and will now run alongside the college group’s already hugely successful Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship.

Mike Hodgson, founder of WTG Offshore and CEO of the USA branch, explained more: “Niall will spend the next three years as an apprentice. Year 1 will be mainly classroom-based, where he will learn key fundamentals: from blade repair, through reporting, to health and safety. During his second and third years, he will move into the field, where he will put the information he has learnt in the classroom to practical use, carrying out repair assessments on various blades.”

Coleg Llandrillo’s Wind Turbine trainer & assessor Mark McDonough said: “We are delighted to welcome Niall to the centre, and wish him all the best for the future. We are also very pleased to continue working in partnership with RWE Renewables to train young persons for the ever-growing renewable power industry. We have a proven successful apprenticeship programme for hydro, offshore, and onshore wind power and look forward to many more years working with our partners in industry.”

First Minister of Wales, the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, officially launched the country’s first Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship programme and dedicated training centre in December 2012 at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea campus.

For more information on wind turbine apprenticeships at Coleg Llandrillo, please contact the College’s Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.