Battery technology pioneer, Britishvolt, the UK’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies, is shaping the battery skills landscape through a new collaboration with Northumberland College and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre.

To support the energy transition, which will need low carbon batteries at its core, many new skills are required across the battery production process and Britishvolt will work to nurture the Manufacturing Associates and Technicians throught their core apprenticeship training.

The Northumberland Gigaplant – Britishvolt’s first large, full-cycle Gigaplant in the UK - will produce enough cells for in excess of 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year.

Read more: Government funding for Britishvolt battery gigaplant at Blyth

Katie Sloggett, Britishvolt Head of Learning & Development, explained: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work within our local communities and help generate the skills required for Britain to play its part in the next industrial revolution.

"I’m very excited for the boost for Northumberland and West Midlands. These agreements, alongside the broader technical training programme, will ensure that we have the people and skills that we need for the 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs (and another 5,000 indirect wider supply chain roles).

As well as training Britishvolt apprentices, Northumberland College will be supporting BV FutureGen Foundation, the charity created by Britishvolt which aims to help build a better future for local communities through providing entry level, gateway qualifications into STEM and renewables employment.

Iain Nixon, Vice Principal Partnerships and Commercial, for Education Partnership North East, which incorporates Northumberland College, Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form, said: “The arrival of Britishvolt in south east Northumberland is going to have a massive positive impact on the local area and its economy and we’re delighted to be partnering with them.

"The college will initially provide training for entry-level apprentices at Britishvolt – operators on the production line and engineering technicians. Ahead of the Gigaplant starting up production, a pilot engineering technician apprenticeship programme will start this September.”

Apprenticeship opportunities will be shortly made available on the BV careers and National Apprenticeship Service websites.

David Grailey Managing director of MTC Training, said : "MTC Training has developed a reputation for producing work-ready apprentices of the highest calibre.

"They have access to the very latest in engineering technologies, but importantly, they are schooled in the basics of business, and gain an understanding of the responsibilities of being an employee, an appreciation of how business works, and an understanding of the importance of customers. Our apprentices are winning awards and the word is spreading," he said.

He added, "MTC Training's apprentices are exactly what industry needs to fill the high-tech jobs of the future as industry moves toward a net-zero environment. Our apprenticeship shape our learners to be fully-rounded apprentices capable of filling the most demanding of positions."

Alex Burghart, UK Government Minister for Skills commented: “This deal proves what is possible when colleges and companies work together to meet the needs of learners, local communities and the economy, and I would encourage all colleges to follow Northumberland’s example.”