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The Welding & Pipefitting Hub is an employer-led project to ensure that our region has the right level of skills to meet the demand not only of existing projects in the process industry sector but also to enable the UK to deliver the mega-scale engineering construction projects that industrial decarbonisation of our industry requires.

The hub has 4 main capabilities:

• Schools Engagement & STEM based activities
• Level 3 Apprenticeship training
• Upskilling existing employees in industry
• Training programmes to retrain new entrants to industry

EFAB has recruited 4 apprentices as part of the first welding & pipefitting cohort as part of their commitment to growing their team and creating career pathways for young people in industry.

CATCH Chief Operating Officer, James McIntosh, said “We were delighted when EFAB decided to sponsor the Welding & Pipefitting Hub. It is fantastic to see such commitment from industry to help us provide the best possible learning experience for welding & pipefitting apprentices in the region, which was made possible through their investment. Our industry faces a huge challenge to meet net zero and it will require employers and providers working in partnership to ensure we have the right level and number of skilled people to meet demands. I would like to thank Simon and the team at EFAB for their continued support of CATCH.”

Simon Rafferty, EFAB Industrial Solution’s Chief Executive Officer said: “CATCH is a key strategic partner of EFAB Industrial Solutions, and the work that they do with their clients, members, and learners is pivotal in ensuring the future of Engineering Construction in the UK, and in the Humber region’s preparedness to lead the drive for decarbonisation and renewable energy.

“When we learned about CATCH’s new Welding & Pipefitting Hub, we knew that their team’s, passion, commitment, and expertise would make this a valuable asset to the local industry and economy, attracting and training the skilled tradespeople of tomorrow – that’s why we had to get involved – not only as a client, and a partner, but also by making a financial commitment to this groundbreaking facility.”


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An Artists Impression of how the New CATCH National Net Zero Training Centre could look

Today, CATCH announced ambitious plans for the development of a £60M state-of-the-art training facility, to reach a training goal of 1000 apprentices a year by 2029, at its Stallingborough headquarters, with the intent of tackling the engineering construction skill shortages anticipated in the Humber cluster and across the UK.

In anticipation of a series of Net Zero projects set to commence from as early as 2024 and beyond, a significant demand for skilled labour is on the horizon. These projects are projected to generate a potential 20,000 new industrial jobs, necessitating an unprecedented, rapid upscaling of the existing skills pipelines.

Following initial funding support from key industrial sponsors, and CATCH members, Phillips 66 Limited, Harbour Energy, and VPI Power, CATCH has developed plans for the future training centre expansion needed to deliver 1000 new learners per year by 2029.   Developing towards a future final investment decision, CATCH plans to continue to build broad support across industry and government for this new national net zero training centre.

Subject to further partner engagement and planning permission, the new facility is planned to house a national net zero conference and learning centre, bespoke classrooms and workshops for electrical, instrumentation, mechanical technical skills, a welding and fabrication hub with an impressive 160 welding bays, and a UK first of kind outdoor Process Unit Training Module to enable a real process site experience in a safe environment for all trade skills. In addition, provisions cater for enhanced car parking facilities and a dedicated CATCH regional bus infrastructure to help get talented apprentices to the site from across the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire regions.

“Our phased strategy ensures a sustainable expansion of apprenticeship numbers, targeting the training of 1000 apprentices annually by 2029,” David Talbot, CATCH CEO commented, “The backbone of this initiative’s success will be the support from the industrial supply chain. Many companies understandably are waiting to assess the skills landscape before committing to expanding or creating new apprenticeship vacancies. Our proposed new facility helps to mitigate this risk, with dedicated support from the CATCH team, the industrial supply chain can be confident that together we can ensure that the skills pipeline is sustainable for the low carbon future.

“It’s a complex picture, and we realise that we cannot do this alone, we all need to pull together as a region, to solve one of the biggest challenges to deploying the net zero infrastructure.  This tabled investment represents a vital piece in the puzzle of the UK’s decarbonisation journey.

Central to CATCH’s vision is the cultivation of the next generation of skilled highly paid labour. Through their dedicated schools’ engagement team, CATCH aims to tap into the local communities, shedding light on STEM career paths and fuelling aspirations.

“Our mission is clear: to inspire and educate the industry’s future craftspeople. The UK’s path to net zero starts with today’s youth, and we’re here to ensure they have the resources, skills, and opportunities to lead the way” concluded David.

Paul Fursey, Lead Executive UK and Humber Refinery General Manager said:

“To build the infrastructure required to deliver net zero for the UK, we need to invest in creating the skilled workforce of tomorrow. CATCH’s new Net Zero Training Centre will become a hub of excellence, demonstrating how the UK can increase the knowledge and skills needed to deliver the net zero targets. Through support from Phillips 66 Limited and our fellow delivery sponsors, Harbour Energy and VPI, local industry support, and local schools and colleges, we believe we can make a powerful difference to inspire the next generation of welders, pipefitters, mechanical fitters, platers, scaffolders and much more.”

Viking CCS Project Director Graeme Davies said:

“Viking CCS is crucial to unlocking net zero in the UK and helping to decarbonise industries in the Humber, however we need thousands of skilled workers to build the infrastructure to deliver it. This is a huge opportunity for the Humber and North Lincolnshire to be at the epicentre of an enduring green jobs revolution.”

Jonathan Briggs, VPI Humber Zero Project Director said:

“Delivering a decarbonised Humber and enabling the energy transition to facilitate this means pre-investing in the workforce of the future. The Net Zero Training Centre at CATCH will support the creation of the Humber’s new workforce, safeguard the competitiveness of the Humber’s industrial base, and support leading projects such as Humber Zero and Viking CCS”.

Julian Free, University of Lincoln Deputy Vice Chancellor said:

“This significant expansion of CATCH facilities to train the skilled people the Humber needs to decarbonise is a critical step in achieving Net Zero by 2050.  If the Humber’s emissions are not radically reduced, and quickly, the UK will miss the target.  The development of CATCH working with industry presents a fantastic opportunity for those of us living in the region to play a major part in the UK’s future success and to build a strong and prosperous region with long-term opportunities for all”

To keep informed about this project – register your details here.


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Leading provider of high-quality plant equipment, SES has recently completed a six-figure deal to supply world-renowned training facility CATCH with a full suite of welding equipment ahead of the launch of their Welding and Pipefitting Hub, which opens this week.

The new facility is designed to host 28 students, with courses in Pipefitting, Plate Welding and Pipe Welding. As the sole contractor working with CATCH, SES has provided Lincoln Electric welding equipment as well as new cutting machinery, tools and equipment for apprentices and staff for a 3 year period.

The specialist equipment rental company, with bases in Aberdeen and Grimsby, offer more than 1,000 different types of equipment and an asset register comprising more than 30,000 individual items. Their hire fleet offers a full spectrum of specialist tools for every discipline involved in offshore oil and gas maintenance, renewables, petrochemicals, manufacturing, modifications, hook-up and decommissioning.

Andrew Lait, SES Business Development manager, said: “We are really proud to be working with CATCH on the launch of the new Welding and Pipefitting Hub. We opened our Grimsby base in March last year, and the work that we have done with CATCH has been incredible.

“It’s great to play a part in the development of future operations and engineering maintenance workforces. There’s a real gap in the market, and we can’t wait to see the hub evolve over time.”

Earlier this year, SES held an open day at the CATCH training facility in Grimsby, where 5 organisations showcased their service offering. Throughout the day, over 150 business people, students and apprentices came together to network, share their experiences and discuss future projects within the area.

Andrew continues, “At SES, our key focus is sustainability. We opened our base in Grimsby following a consistent level of business wins so that we could service our customers in a timely and cost-effective way. Having a base in the Humberside area allows for our customers to buy locally whilst cutting down on carbon emissions through moving equipment.

CATCH is an industry-led partnership supporting the process, energy, engineering and renewable industries in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Humber, offering industry authentic training and assessment without the risks associated with processing hazardous materials. The £12 million training facility is actively involved in developing and delivering skills and qualifications programmes both regionally and nationally.

Joel Broddle, Head of Welding and Pipefitting, said: “We are thrilled to be opening of The Welding and Pipefitting Hub at our Humber site on September 18. Over a number of months, we have been working to acquire the latest equipment to provide our apprentices with top-quality learning resources. We would like to thank SES and Andy Lait for their invaluable support and guidance in ensuring the timely completion of our orders.

“We are looking forward to developing the relationship with SES and Worley over the next 12 months and we are confident that their collaboration will play a vital role in training the next generation of skilled welders, pipefitters, and fabricators. Together, we aim to make a positive impact on the industry and nurture a bright future for aspiring crafts people.”


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CATCH has been selected as a finalist for the ECI Training & Development awards, in the category of “Training Provider of the Year”.

The award is to recognise an exceptional training provider with a proven track record in delivering high quality training & assessment and creating a positive impact with learners, employers and clients. The awards will take place on Thursday 2nd November at The Cutty Sark in London.

The Approved Training Provider category is full of strong competition, with fellow finalists GSS Training and Forth Valley College both in the running for the award.

It is the 2nd time in 4 years that CATCH has been selected as a finalist, having won the award in 2019, only 2 years after the CATCH Skills training brand was formed. Since becoming an ECITB training provider, CATCH has awarded ECITB qualifications to over 7000 learners across various training programmes. The CATCH footprint has grown exponentially in the past 12 months which has led to us delivering courses across the UK on clients’ sites including Scotland, Isle of Man, Teeside, West Yorkshire, Wales and the South East of England.

In addition, the launch of our apprenticeship programmes across Electrical, Instrumentation, Mechanical, Process Operations, Welding & Pipefitting, some of which are for ECITB clients and supply chain contractor employers, has seen us take steps to help bridge the skills gap in the region and meet the demand of net zero transition. Our apprenticeship programme features a range of added value courses, some of which are accredited by ECITB, to enhance the learners skills set and experience before they join site in their second year of training.

CATCH Chief Operating Officer, James McIntosh said “We are delighted to have been selected as a finalist for the ECITB Training & Development Awards. To make the final 3 providers is great recognition for the hard work and effort of our fantastic team of people at CATCH. I am sure the event will be an enjoyable evening and showcase the many success stories that we have in our industry ”.

Find out more about the ECI Training and Development awards here.


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As part of the government’s strategy and commitment to clean growth and net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the £66 million Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Challenge brings together the metals, glass, paper, ceramics, cement and bulk chemical industries to address environmental impact and global competitiveness.

A comprehensive study carried out by the Enterprise Resource Centre (ERC), commissioned by TFI, has highlighted the scarcity of diversity within boardrooms as a barrier to fostering innovation. This study has proposed a key solution: a call for increased diversity within senior positions across the Foundation Industries.

As part of TFI’s commitment to the future prosperity of the Foundation Industries, we are offering 20 fully funded places as part of a 12-month pilot Leadership programme, with additional coaching, starting in Autumn 2023. We are looking to recruit enthusiastic individuals from across the Foundation Industries who have a vocational background (e.g. through an apprenticeship programme or entering work directly from school or college) and welcome applicants from varied age groups, ethnic minorities, and genders and sexes.

Download further details and the self-nomination form here


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IDRIC (the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre) is pleased to announce funding through The University of Lincoln as part of its secondment programme. The funding will mean that Katie Hedges of  CATCH will be seconded to the University under IDRIC’s secondment programme until mid-February 2024 for 1 day per week.

Katie was instrumental in taking the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan from bid concept to delivery.  Her depth of knowledge about the UK’s largest industrial cluster is unique and CATCH is committed to working with key regional partners to ensure their members and stakeholders see a strong legacy built for the region from the Cluster Plan.

Katie will work closely with Professor Joe Howe, the IDRIC Academic Cluster Lead for the Humber who was has also recently been appointed.

David Talbot, CATCH CEO said ‘This secondment is a great opportunity for our universities to come together with local public and private sector stakeholders to drive forward cluster plan next steps’

Professor Joe Howe said ‘This secondment will ensure acceleration of the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan actions for research and innovation priorities and build stronger connections between the Humber industrial cluster and the over 30 Academic Institutions  that are part of IDRIC’s UK research programme. It will also build opportunities for additional strategic secondment opportunities in the area.’

Katie Hedges added ‘Through this exciting secondment opportunity we can ensure rapid knowledge exchange can progress the suite of recommendations and actions critical to meeting deep decarbonisation targets by 2030 and net zero by 2040 for the largest industrial cluster in the UK.’

The Humber’s cluster plan was published in March 2023.  The outputs include key reports including market, policy, regulation & social studies, each with a strong set of recommendations for action – https://www.humberindustrialclusterplan.org/output-reports.html

More information on the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre can be found here: http://www.idric.org



CATCH, the leading provider of industrial apprenticeships, based in Stallingborough, proudly hosted its first annual Apprenticeship Awards ceremony on 6th July. The event recognised the accomplishments of the rising stars of the future and showcased their outstanding contributions to the industry.

The CATCH Apprenticeship Awards, which were hosted at the Stallingborough Grange Hotel, brought together professionals, industry leaders, apprentices, and their families to honor the dedication and commitment displayed by the next generation of industry craftspeople.

Throughout the event, attendees heard from prominent people in the industry, who commended the hard work and determination of the apprentices. The awards ceremony highlighted the importance of apprenticeships in developing practical skills, nurturing talent, and building a workforce for the future.

Among the highlights of the evening was the presentation of various awards in recognition of outstanding achievements.

The Reynolds Apprentice of the Year  – Henry Whitehead, Birch Solutions. This prestigious award celebrated the apprentice who demonstrated exceptional technical proficiency, a strong work ethic, and outstanding contributions to their team and organisation.

Henry commented, “”As someone who’s come back into education later in life, I’ve come a long way in my learning and development since starting the apprenticeship, so receiving this award really meant a lot to me and showed that I’m on the right career path.”

“We have created the CATCH Apprenticeship Awards to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our exceptional apprentices,” said Eve McIntosh, Apprentice Account manager, CATCH

“Their dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to their respective specialisms are a testament to the bright future that lies ahead. We are immensely proud of their accomplishments and grateful for their contributions to our industry.  We are proud to offer the most employer focused pathways in the Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Humber regions and the awards ceremony serves as a reminder of the importance of investing in apprenticeships and providing a premium hands on experience for aspiring craftspeople”

Full list of 2023 award winners:

Most Improved Award Electrical sponsored by Greenergy

Winner: Libby Manning – Triton Power

 

Most Improved Award Mechanical sponsored by Wood

Winner: Adam Stevens – Tronox

 

Most Improved Award Process sponsored by Cargill

Winners: Tom Havler – Triton Power and Lawrence Burchell – Lenzing Fibers

 

Academic Achiever Award Electrical sponsored by Enfinium

Winner: Kyle Mortlock – Ineos

 

Academic Achiever Award Mechanical sponsored by CSNRI

Winner: Lucy Wilson – Wood Group

 

Academic Achiever Award Mechanical Special Recognition sponsored by CSNRI

Winner: Tom Kerridge – 2 Sisters Food Group

 

Academic Achiever Award Process sponsored by Cargill

Winners: Matthew Richardson – Prax and James McCann – VPI Immingham

 

Practical Competency Award – Electrical sponsored by SIAS

Winner: Grace Walton – Tronox

 

Practical Competency Award – Mechanical sponsored by SIAS

Winner: Henry Whitehead – Birch Solutions

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Practical Competency Award – Process sponsored by Prax

Winners: Joseph Masterton – Solenis and Ethan Hill – Cargill

 

The Above and Beyond Award sponsored by VEGA

Winner: Matthew Gale – Air Products

 

The Rising Star Award sponsored by Air Products

Winner: Joshua Gray – Cargill

 

The CATCH Friend Award sponsored by CATCH

Winner: William Hargreaves – VPI Immingham

 

The Employer Award sponsored by the Apprentice Employment Agency

Winner: Harry Tant – Tronox

 

Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Reynolds Training Services

3rd Place – Kyle Mortlock – Ineos

2nd Place – James McCann – VPI Immingham

Winner: Henry Whitehead – Birch Solutions

 For more information about CATCH Apprenticeships and its commitment to securing future skills in the engineering, energy, process and renewables industries please visit www.catchuk.org


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CATCH was delighted to host a special session of the Humber Industrial Decarbonisation Network featuring Edwin James Group and the Institute of Collaborative Working.  The session was well attended by over 50 in person delegates who learnt about the benefits of collaborative working in contract performance and how industrial clusters can embed collaboration successfully to improve safety performance, decrease project risk and improve societal benefits.

David Talbot, CATCH CEO opened the event and welcomed Christopher Kehoe, CEO from Edwin James Group who co-chaired the session and has been an advocate for the Institute of Collaborative Working for many years.

The first speaker was Frank Lee, CEO of the Institute of Collaborative Working.  Frank explained that working collaboratively means being honest and truthful and building trust and resilience with partners.  Collaboration will be essential as we move towards meeting net zero targets each of us will need to explore our Scope 3 emissions.  Measuring and monitoring performance, for example, social value outcomes and impacts are critical.  Frank spoke of evidence of improved safety performance in contracts where principles of collaborative working have been implemented.  Structure is the key to effective collaboration and helps manage risk – look at your systems, processes, competence and culture.

Louise McMahon, Strategy and Business Improvement Director at Kier Highways gave the next presentation which was a case study to describe how the Kier Group has used a robust framework for both internal and external collaboration.  Building strong supply chain partnerships is one of the success criteria for the business.  Kier was awarded the ISO44001 standard in 2017, being one of the early adopters.  Louise recognised that the standard is hard but what are the risks of not doing it?  The ICW has an assessment tool that organisations can use to see where they are on the journey.

Stuart Driscoll, Managing Director of Parker Technical Services presented a Sellafield case study.  Historically, projects at the complex site have overrun and gone over budget.  The collaborative approach established a Programme and Project Partnership of key partners to deliver improved performance over a 20 year pipeline of major infrastructure projects.  The PPP work together to identify and mitigate risks, measure performance, and meeting social impact targets including local job creation and training opportunities, meeting environmental targets, as well as school engagement.

After the break, Mark Orpin, COO Edwin James Group, gave a presentation on how the organisation has driven up apprentice numbers to over 150 learners across a group of 1000 employees.  Mark explored the drivers and challenges this has presented and the wider skills shortages across the sector.

David Talbot led a Q&A panel featuring all speakers and took questions from the audience.


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We are pleased to announce that CATCH has successfully passed the rigorous ISO 9001 audit, for the 7th year running. Demonstrating our commitment to quality assurance and to delivering quality services.  This accomplishment further strengthens our position as a reliable and trustworthy partner for our members, clients, delegates, and stakeholders, assuring them of consistent quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

CATCH was awarded the internationally recognised standard with zero non-conformances. Meaning we consistently meet customer requirements and have a proven, robust quality management system across all our operational areas, including policies, procedures, and processes. The audit examined various aspects such as customer relationships, leadership commitment, risk management, continuous improvement, and adherence to regulatory requirements.

Paul Snowden, Head of Operations, CATCH, said, “We are thrilled to have passed the ISO 9001 audit. The re-certification is a real testament to the CATCH team ensuring that we follow our procedures and put the customer at the heart of everything we do. To pass with zero non-conformances is a fantastic achievement, and is the result of many dedicated hours of work to fine-tune our processes to be the best they can be”.

Jasmine Greenhalgh, Executive Assistant / HR officer, CATCH, commented, “The ISO process involves the whole CATCH team working consistently together. From reviewing departmental procedures, to checking our supplier certification, to attending ISO review meetings and conducting audits.  This accomplishment reflects our company values of taking care of our people, being agile, working collaboratively, and always working ethically”.

Special thanks to Paul, Jasmine, Libbi, and Rebecca for their dedication and for leading the company through the audit process.


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David Talbot, CEO CATCH warmly welcomed delegates online and in person to the CATCH Industrial Decarbonisation Network with DNV on the 14th June.  David introduced Hari Vamadevan, Senior Vice President at DNV, who provided the audience with an introduction.

Hari gave thanks to CATCH and explained that recently 2 coal power plants have recently been brought back online, which is a stark reminder that the energy systems balance remains a challenge for the UK.  Hari told the audience that DNV have produced over a number of years a Global Energy Transition Outlook, however now are able to share the UK Energy Forecast report, which is a cost based, single scenario.

Frank Ketelaars, Project Manager of the UK Energy Forecast report, advised that the report was their best estimate of the future landscape. He went on to discuss the four pillars of the UK energy system, demand, supply, infrastructure and investment.   Frank explained that even though GDP and population are set to grow, energy demand is likely to reduce due to large scale electrification across all sectors. Fossil fuel is still likely to deliver a third of energy demands mainly for heating, commercial transport and power generation. They predict that there will be a limited uptake of hydrogen by 2050.  The Hydrogen demand will ramp up to 4 MT/yr by 2050, not meeting the government target of 10 GW. Of this Hydrogen, only half of the production will be green.  Mainly due to the amount of renewable electricity required. Frank then explained that the UK’s primary energy supply will shift from fossil fuels (currently at 80%) to low carbon sources such as Nuclear, renewables, variable renewables (70%) by 2050.   Next he explained that the electricity demand in the UK will increase by a factor of 2.5 by 2050, and 95% of this will be low carbon. Of this three quarters will be supplied by variable renewables such as wind and solar.  For this to happen a major expansion of infrastructure and grid connections is required.

Next Laura Woods, Business Development Manager from Associated British Ports provided guests with an update on the Humber Green Energy projects.  Laura told the audience that ABP operate 21 ports in the UK, South Wales, Humber, which is the busiest port cluster and Southampton. They handle 25% of the seaborne trade and contribute 7.5B to the UK economy.  Laura explained that Air Products are the key partner for the Immingham Green Energy Terminal, which will see a new jetty and up to two births for the importation of Ammonia. This project will kick start the hydrogen economy, particularly hydrogen for mobility and decarbonisation of the transport sector.  The East site will include ammonia storage, hydrogen production and hydrogen liquification, with the west site being hydrogen production, liquification, hydrogen storage and vehicle loading. There will be a pipeline corridor between the two sites and a corridor for jetty access road and pipeline.  Next Laura explained about their project with Viking CCS, developing a CO2 transport and storage network connected to the Immingham cluster. A new pipeline is proposed to transport C02 to offshore storage in the Southern North Sea.

Next Frank, Laura and David participated in a Q&A panel hosted by James Jenkins, DNV, which largely centered around a skilled workforce to deliver the projects.  David explained that the engineering and construction workforce is a transient one, and that as a region we are competing against other sectors and areas of the UK for skilled people. We have three main areas of concern such as the existing skills gap, an aging workforce and that we will need in excess of 22,000 high quality engineering construction jobs such as pipefitters and welders. David advised that the only way to do this, was for all stakeholders to work together.

The meeting was closed by James Jenkins, DNV, who thanked attendees for their time.

The next CATCH Industrial Decarbonisation Meeting takes place on the 4th July – details here


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