Yorkshire Forward to expand Chemical training facilities in the Humber

More than 600 jobs will be created in the Humber after Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward agreed to pump more than £1.5 million into expanding the Centre for Assessment of Technical Competence Humber (CATCH) in North East Lincolnshire.

CATCH is a facility specialising in providing training to the chemicals and related industries. The project – worth a total of £6.67million - will double the capacity of the Centre and see the construction of a Light Trades Workshop and an extension to the Process Plant.

The project will extend the current facilities to accommodate the increasing demand for skilled labour, as well as anticipating the need for trained staff in the growing bio-fuels and renewable energy sectors, which are expected to become key employers in the Humber region.

Sarah Pearson, Yorkshire Forward’s Assistant Director for the Humber, said: “The increased capacity at CATCH is needed to meet existing demand from the chemicals and related industries for apprenticeship places, and workforce development activity to support the continued competitiveness of the process industries in the Humber.

“The expansion also provides growth space to proactively develop CATCH as the hub for future training activity relating to the renewable energy industries, which are identified regionally as a growth sector and are expected to provide a key future source of jobs in the Humber.”

CATCH is an independent training facility operated by an industry led steering group under the auspices of the Humber Chemical Focus (HCF). It is a unique partnership between Yorkshire Forward, Europe, Local Authorities and Government Office Yorkshire and Humber, and the chemicals sector and allied businesses in the Humber. 

CATCH Chairman Adrian Wallis said: “We are delighted that Yorkshire Forward has decided to grant this very significant financial support.

“We will work with the resident training providers, HETA, Hull College and the Grimsby Institute, and any others chosen by employers, to meet the needs of industry. We look forward to increasing apprentice numbers and a wider range of short courses and bespoke programmes for the existing workforce – developments which will benefit all involved and the region as a whole.”

Tony Ogden, HCF Chairman, said: “The CATCH expansion project is great news for the future of young people in the Humber region, and will help to ensure that our process industries can draw on local talent to meet their current and future skilled workforce needs.”

Yorkshire Forward has agreed to contribute £1.58million to the project. A further £2.53m investment is being sought from the region’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme. The project is also attracting £0.75m private sector funding, and £1.8 million from North East Lincolnshire Council, making a total project value of £6.67m. 

The building construction will provide 4,205 sqm of new or upgraded floor space, create 612 jobs, assist 500 people in skills development and help secure private sector funding of £750,000.

Michèle Cusack, North East Lincolnshire Council's Regeneration Director said: "I am delighted with this outcome for one of North East Lincolnshire's flagship projects.

"In my opinion, the reason CATCH is so successful is that it has been developed through a strong partnership between employers, training providers, industry representative bodies and the public sector working together to make a this a fantastic asset for the region."