A RECENTLY opened skills academy, which specialises in climbing courses for energy industry workers and trainees, has been celebrated and declared formally open by the Tees Valley Mayor.

Stockton-based Total Solutions, which provides vocational training for people planning to work in the offshore wind, decommissioning, oil and gas industries, opened its brand new Rope Access & Career Skill Academy in June.

The firm, which claims it has more than 35 years of industry experience between bosses, said the new facility in Stockton mainly provided specialist training in the skill, also known as industry climbing.

Accredited by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association, the facility teaches training and existing industry workers the skills needed to scale and access remote locations, such as oil rigs and wind turbines.

Total Solutions also provides its trainees, first aid courses, training in confined space working, fire awareness, working at height, advanced rescue courses and oil & chemical spillage management.

Formally opening the facility, the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen visited the site where he saw the first set of rope access training programmes being delivered.

He said: “The Tees Valley is developing a reputation as a centre of excellence for the renewable and offshore industries, including offshore wind.

"Facilities like Total Solutions rope access training centre in Stockton mean that local people can develop the skills needed to take advantage of the good quality well-paid jobs that are being created in these industries."

Total Solutions reported a more than 30 percent growth in revenue year-on-year.

It also said it had recently managed to secure several further partnerships with commercial organisations and educational establishments.

But despite this promising growth in revenue, Bosses said their ambitious plans to open the facility had been "accelerated" ahead of forecast, through the support of the Tees Valley Combined Authority's Tees Valley Business Compass, set up to help develop Tees Valley-based businesses.

Mick Flaherty, managing director of Total Solutions, said: “We were delighted that the Mayor could inaugurate our Rope Access & Careers Skill Academy and see first-hand how our facilities will support the development of a skilled workforce.

"Not only in the Tees Valley and North East, but across the UK to support local, national and international industry.”

Mr Houchen added: "It was a real pleasure meeting the team and seeing first-hand how they develop the skills and confidence our future workforce will need.”