WIND FARM-related opportunities for employment are to receive a financial boost as a Carrick community benefit company confirms qualification funding.
It was agreed last week that Carrick Futures, which administers funds from Mark Hill and Arecleoch wind farms, would provide bursaries of £3000 to Carrick individuals who gain a place on Ayr College’s turbine technician diploma – set to begin next month.
With three operating wind farms at Mark Hill, Hadyard Hill, and Arecleoch – plus 96-turbine extension Kilgallioch recently approved by the Scottish Government – and numerous more in the planning and scoping stages, it is estimated that as many as 18 new technicians will soon be required in South Ayrshire.
A total of 12 places are available on Ayr College’s new pre-apprenticeship course, which will involve 18 months of training over three full days a week, and both hand skills training and tuition in electrical and mechanical skills.
Carrick Futures chairman, John McIlwraith, said he hoped the bursaries would inspire as many applicants as possible from Carrick.
“One of the better benefits we can get from wind farms is jobs,” he said. “There is a shortage of quality people in that field, and these are well-paid jobs with good prospects.
“This is one of the best opportunities Carrick Futures has had to do something really meaningful for the community.”
SPR has been looking to develop turbine technician training in southwest Scotland for the past two years, and they were pleased to see plans take shape.
“This is a true demonstration of how windfarm community benefit funding can be used to encourage training and support skills development to ensure those local to our projects are best placed to make the most of the opportunities they create,” a spokesman said.
Applications for the wind turbine technician diploma are currently being accepted, with interviews expected to begin next week.
To find out more about the course, or to apply, visit the Ayr College website at www.ayrcoll.ac.uk or call 0800 1997 98.
To be eligible for the bursary from Carrick Futures applicants must be resident within Carrick, which stretches from Ballantrae in the south to the River Doon in the north. Applicants must meet the course requirements and can contact Ailsa Horizons on Girvan Dalrymple Street at any time for advice, but a formal offer from Ayr College must have been received and accepted before any bursary will be provided.