Employer-led energy skills centre opens its doors

An employer-led skills centre designed to train the next generation of offshore energy sector workers in Norfolk and Suffolk opened its doors on the 22nd of June.

Based at the Great Yarmouth campus of East Coast College, one of the leading partners on 3sun and Greater Gabbard’s offshore wind farm, the centre aims to ensure a pipeline of workers for the multi-billion pound offshore wind farms being constructed around the region’s coastline.

Employers take centre-stage in the new project, with 3sun Academy among the centre’s training providers and more than £500,000 worth of equipment, including wind turbine generators and blades, being donated by businesses. In addition, New Anglia LEP contributed £452,420 to the project through a New Anglia Skills Deal.

Developers, operators and supply chain companies are also supporting the cost of training – including East Anglia One wind farm developer Scottish Power Renewables, which has invested £55,000 to sponsor up to 13 places.

Stuart Rimmer, chief executive and principal of East Coast College, said “The centre will build upon the college’s long-standing relationship with the region’s energy coast. We envisage some companies might sponsor candidates with a view to taking someone from the programme onto their books when the time is right for them. Employers will be able to look at the candidates coming through and give them the opportunity to go for a trial and, if they don’t get a job with them, they are well-placed to get a job in the supply chain.”

Victoria Sinclair, supply chain strategy manager at Scottish Power Renewables, said “This will be an important asset in securing a pipeline of talent for the offshore wind sector in East Anglia – one of the most relevant areas in the global industry. Supporting businesses in East Anglia to train a workforce for the future of the industry is a key part of our skills strategy for East Anglia One.”

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