Total Solutions, the Stockton-based rope access and operations training specialist, has had its new training academy inaugurated by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

The Mayor also witnessed the first training programmes to be delivered at the recently launched Rope Access & Careers Skill Academy, meeting learners who are working towards respected vocational qualifications that will support their current and future careers in industries such as offshore wind, decommissioning and oil & gas.

Built on more than 35 years’ industry experience, Total Solutions provides unique training courses, including rope access, trade rope access competency courses, first aid, confined space, fire awareness, working at height, advanced rescue courses and oil & chemical spillage management.

Accredited by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA), Total Solutions’ the facility equips learners with practical skills delivered by instructors and assessors teaching various basic and rescue techniques.

Its seven-metre high rope access structure is used extensively as part of the training programmes, with, on this occasion, learners working towards IRATA L1 and IRATA L3. The entry level IRATA L1 programme teaches the techniques for accessing locations at height as well as basic rescue techniques.

IRATA L3 is for more experienced candidates who have in excess of 2,000 hours working at height and enables learners to become competent in advanced rigging and rescue systems as well as current industrial legislation and industrial best practice.

The new training centre, which opened in June, and its specialist facilities is supporting Total Solutions strategic growth and its aims of playing a key role in unemployment redevelopment, adult education and the delivery of up-skilling programmes.

Total Solutions has achieved more than 30% revenue growth year-on-year and has already secured several strategic partnerships with commercial organisations and education institutions.

The creation of the training facility was made possible through support provided by the Tees Valley Business Compass, which helped Total Solutions secure funding that accelerated the project earlier than forecasted.

Mick Flaherty, Managing Director of Total Solutions, said: “We were delighted that the Mayor could inaugurate our Rope Access & Careers Skill Academy and see first-hand how our facilities will support the development of a skilled workforce, not only in the Tees Valley and North East, but across the UK to support local, national and international industry.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Tees Valley is developing a reputation as a centre of excellence for the renewable and offshore industries, including offshore wind. Facilities like Total Solutions rope access training centre in Stockton mean that local people can develop the skills needed to take advantage of the good quality well-paid jobs that are being created in these industries. It was a real pleasure meeting the team and seeing first-hand how they develop the skills and confidence our future workforce will need.”