A new purpose-built offshore training centre, which will create up to 80 new jobs over the next three years and inject hundreds of thousands of pounds into the local economy, is being built on North Tyneside.

The Offshore Skills Centre is being developed by Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS) to cope with the growing demand for training courses from the offshore sector – which is currently experiencing unprecedented growth, particularly in renewable energy.

The new centre will more than double the size of AIS’s existing 10,000 square foot facility to provide industrial training for an additional 2,000 delegates per year in world-recognised qualifications such as rope access, insulation, working at height, confined space, rigging and lifting, health and safety and specialist training for the emerging renewable energy sector.

It will also enable the development of new courses so that the centre becomes a true one-stop-shop for industrial and renewable energy training.

Advanced Industrial Solutions, which was recently crowned ‘Small Business of the Year’ at the prestigious North East business awards, received support from North Tyneside Council for the centre – which will be a key part of North Tyneside’s Learning Village scheme.

As well as providing skills training for the offshore industry, the centre will also offer school visits and work experience opportunities for young people. Similarly, the Learning Village Offshore Skills Centre will work with the North Tyneside Learning Trust to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist in the offshore sector to young people.

Paul Stonebanks, managing director of AIS, said: “The North East is already well recognised as a service provider for the offshore sector and we are keen to enhance that reputation. People travel from across the globe to our existing centre and hopefully this new enhanced facility will bring even more international delegates, who in turn will be spending money in the local area.

“The offshore sector, particularly renewable energy, offers enormous opportunities as it becomes increasingly important to the UK and we’ve got ambitious plans to capitalise on every opportunity available to us to establish AIS and North Shields as a leading player.”

Elected Mayor for North Tyneside, Mrs Linda Arkley, said: “We are delighted that a company such as AIS – a growing, leading provider of specialist training with a proven international record has chosen to remain in North Tyneside as it expands.

“The new Offshore Skills Centre will form an integral part of our unique Learning Village scheme, and provide an enormous boost to the skills training we can offer here in North Tyneside. It also fits perfectly with our ambitious plans for the North Bank of the Tyne. We look forward to working with AIS as they continue to grow.”

Since opening its new 10,000 square foot specialist training centre and manufacturing facility last January, AIS has seen demand for its products and services grow massively, resulting in the company expanding its workforce from six in 2009 to a team of 42 today.

The company offers industrial solutions for business including specialist training for the oil and gas industry such as rope access, confined space, rigging, insulation and health and safety courses. It also manufactures bespoke insulation products for the offshore and industrial sectors and installs them on site.