Business Secretary Vince Cable announced a £6.5 million investment yesterday to help train top engineering students in a new Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE).

Leading universities and global companies such as EDF Energy, Shell and Rolls Royce will train 50 students in a range of low carbon technologies such as wind, wave and tidal power.

Visiting the University of Edinburgh, who will help deliver the programme, Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Engineering skills are vital for the growth of a more sustainable economy and are in high demand from employers.

“This scheme will see industry working with universities to provide students with the training and commercial experience businesses want.”

The course will start in January 2012 and be delivered by Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter universities, alongside the Scottish Association for Marine Science and consultancy HR-Wallingford.

Vince Cable said: “Scotland has real strengths in renewable energy – wind, wave and tidal power, building on a strong tradition of hydro.

“These students will have the chance to work with some of the leading energy companies based here and tackle one of our biggest challenges – developing technology for a greener future.”

The engineers will also study the business side of the industry and be able to develop their research, technical and entrepreneurial skills throughout the 9 year course.

Peter Hofman, Director of Company Shared Services & Integration at EDF Energy, said: “As the energy market in the UK develops it is crucial that we train engineering students in low carbon generation expertise. EDF Energy fully supports the investment from the Government to help meet skills targets.”

The new qualification is described as an ‘internationally-leading Engineering Doctorate’ (EngD).

Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive of EPSRC said: “The EngD is equivalent to the intellectual challenge of a PhD coupled with extensive business leadership training.

“The research engineers are expected to spend around 75 per cent of their time working directly with their host company on project work and 25 per cent on taught courses. Graduates trained in this way are much sought after by business.

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