Plans unveiled for UK’s first multimodal logistics training centre

Grimsby Institute's Sam Whitaker - Vice Principal Strategic Services, and Patrick Henry - Director

The Grimsby Institute, in partnership with the Humber LEP, has today unveiled plans for Modal Training Limited, becoming the first organisation in the UK to offer integrated, multimodal logistics training for sea, road, rail and air, as well as a full range of support services.

The new £7million centre of excellence for the ports, energy and logistics sectors is being jointly funded by the Grimsby Institute and the Humber LEP. It will be located in a 5,696 m2 fit for purpose designed facility on Kings Road in Immingham, in the former construction facilities owned by Fabricom ENGIE.

Equipped with state-of-the-art simulators for training maritime crew, truck and crane drivers, Modal Training will deliver realistic training, replicating the working environment, in a wide range of settings. Facilities will include extensive warehousing, engineering and rail safety teaching facilities, and the UK’s only Air Freight Forwarding Academy. The centre is on schedule for completion and full operation in September 2016.

Sam Whitaker, Vice-Principal for Strategic Projects at the Grimsby Institute and Board Member of Modal Training, said: “The Humber is already home to the UK’s largest, multi-purpose ports complex which, for decades, has supported a growing trade in coal, cars, food, freight, passengers and petroleum. Now the region is set to expand again, as it takes on a new role as the international logistics hub for the emerging renewables energy sector.

“The task we have set ourselves is clear – to ensure that businesses operating in our ports, energy and logistics sectors have access to the training support they need to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. We intend to work with them to develop their existing teams, train new members and raise the profile of career opportunities in these sectors to facilitate future recruitment.”

Mike Parker, Chair of the Humber LEP’s Employment and Skills Group, said: “It is fantastic that we are marking another first for the Humber – the UK’s first single point of study for a diverse range of qualifications suited to all modes of transport. Logistics are vital to supporting the Humber’s growing renewables sector, as a source of new career opportunities and in consolidating our status as the UK’s Energy Estuary.

“To enable current and future work forces to take maximum advantage of the new jobs which are being created, we must meet the challenge of bridging the skills gap. This is why the LEP supported GIFHE’s case for a major investment in the Logistics Centre and worked with Government to ensure Local Growth Funding was allocated.”

This morning’s launch event attracted a wide range of key stakeholders including representatives from many local businesses operating in the ports, energy and logistics sectors. Speakers included Sam Whitaker and Patrick Henry of Modal Training together with Kishor Tailor of the Humber LEP and Nigel Carlton, UK CEO of Fabricom ENGIE.

Nigel Carlton welcomed the collaborative initiative, saying: “Modal Training is great news for Fabricom ENGIE, whose worldwide engineering, project management and construction success is dependent on the training, skills, experience and dedication of our people. Easy access to state-of-the-art simulator training will be a huge bonus for organisations in the Humber region and beyond, and will be a big advantage for companies considering investing in the area.”

Mike Sellers, ABP’s Port Manager for Grimsby and Immingham, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the Modal team to ensure that the programmes being developed meet our needs exactly. I urge other businesses to get in touch to discuss their own requirements. This is a unique opportunity to be involved in the creation of a centre of excellence for our sector.”