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Selby College to develop BECCS education programme

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Selby College in North Yorkshire, UK has secured funding to develop an education programme that will enable Drax employees to develop the skills needed to operate climate-saving technologies.

The £272,000 (€320,000) grant from the Department for Education’s Strategic Development Fund, will allow the college to develop a new training course in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, supporting Drax’s BECCS plans at its power station near Selby.

The course, starting next year, will equip both current and future Drax employees with the vital skills needed to operate this vital negative-emissions technology, ensuring the region is at the forefront of the green industrial revolution.

The programme will also be available to other organisations and individuals interested in developing their knowledge and understanding of CCS. The course is being designed as an introduction to the subject, with the aim of adding more modules and units over time.

“It’s critical businesses like Drax have access to a skilled workforce, with the knowledge and expertise to operate negative-emissions technologies that will be vital in enabling the UK to reach its legally binding net-zero targets,” said Bruce Heppenstall, plant director at Drax.

“Through our partnership with Selby College, we are able to future-proof our workforce, ensuring we are at the forefront of the green industrial revolution, creating and protecting thousands of jobs here in the north.

“Deploying BECCS at Drax will not only deliver for the environment, but it will also deliver for the economy. It could kick-start a whole new sector of the economy and be the catalyst for a post-COVID economic recovery.”

Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, commented: “Electricity generated by Drax using sustainable biomass is key to expanding the wider economy of Yorkshire and Humberside. The transition from coal to biomass demonstrated how businesses can transform and thrive as part of our new net-zero economy

“To build on this leadership, it is vital that businesses like Drax have the skilled workforce to operate the new green technologies and maintain their leading position.

“The ongoing partnership between Selby College and Drax will provide the essential facilities and courses for local people to develop their skills, and I look forward to seeing this partnership flourish and feed into the development of clean, green industries across our region.”