I would like to take a moment to reflect on an unusual and remarkable year, on the back of what was a very difficult 2020. When we first started to take notice of COVID-19 early in 2020, little did we know that almost 2-years later we would still be wearing masks and sanitising at every opportunity. At CATCH we have continued to deliver our services throughout the pandemic and to date we have not relaxed our COVID protocols. As I write this message it looks as if we were right to maintain our stance on COVID precautions as we are waiting to hear if yet another Christmas is to be curtailed with ‘Plan B’!
Despite the difficult times for everyone, I would like to focus on the huge number of positives for CATCH from the last year. I hope you will forgive my indulgence as I know that many will have faced personal challenges, but I am so proud of what the CATCH team has delivered and want to end the year on a positive note.
This year CATCH has supported the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan, the roadmap to net zero industrial emissions for the Humber region. We have been working closely on the Plan with the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP and key industrial partners. Central to the Plan are 6 work packages that include a systems model of the region, technical studies, supply chain capability, skills and age profile audits, an understanding of the social dimension to decarbonisation, and finally pulling the Plan together into a cohesive strategy by March 2023. You can sign up for cluster plan news and updates on the Humber Industrial Decarbonisation and Humber Hydrogen networks at (https://www.humberindustrialclusterplan.org/). As we move into our second year we are investigating what is needed as a legacy project to the Plan to support the region and industry through to 2040 and beyond.
At CATCH we are also on our own journey to net-zero and have signed the SME Climate Hub Pledge. This has led to a commitment to reach net-zero as a business by 2040 and we are currently working on benchmarking our own emissions and developing our own roadmap through Visibility Carbon. https://www.carbonvisibility.com/
We have seen the completion of a project to deliver improvements to the site, including an exciting enhancement to the on-site process plant that makes CATCH unique. This work has provided for increased capacity and capability including a state-of-the-art Honeywell control system and a new receipt/issue and storage capability. The site improvement project was funded through a 3-way collaboration of the Humber LEP, CATCH and Reynolds Training Services, with Reynolds having the vision and providing the majority of the funding for the delivery of the plant expansion. The partnership with Reynolds (https://reynoldstraining.com/) has led to the development of the National Centre for Process and Manufacturing concept (https://ncpm.uk/) based around the process plant.
Throughout the year CATCH has continued to deliver its traditional services with great success, including Membership events and networking, contractor competence audits (ConCom), office space, room hire and the campus of leading training providers on site. Our own CATCH Skills capability has continued to go from strength to strength and has only been limited by the availability of facilities (the site is currently running at 91% utilisation), leading to developing thinking about a need for a new facility to provide additional capacity. Despite this, the team has delivered a high class training service with the constant challenge of COVID cancellations, postponements and social distancing measures – lots of new customers and projects make 2022 an exciting year ahead.
Finally, in July we were delighted to announce that CATCH was taking its greatest step forward since the site was opened in 2006 by becoming a registered apprentice provider in our own right. This was a huge achievement by the team, and we currently have 19 apprentices on our books within various Science Manufacturing Technician (process operation) Standard pathways. Our vision is to expand the CATCH Apprenticeship provision so look out for more information as we look to establish ourselves in the region as a truly employer led apprenticeship provider.
We could not have achieved what we have this year without the support of our Member organisations, partners, and wider customer/stakeholder group. We have an exciting vision at CATCH for our region, and with this incredible support we will be able to continue our exciting journey.
We have grown considerably as a team this year, both in terms of the size and capability. I have worked with some incredible people over the years, but I am continually amazed by the passion of the CATCH team for their work and their positive approach to the organisation. I am genuinely humbled every day by our team and am proud of how they have adapted to every challenge. The CATCH team has driven our business forward during an incredibly difficult time and I am so proud of what has been achieved together.
We would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday and look forward to returning in the New Year to continue afresh on our journey.