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OWIC creates new task force to boost skills for UK’s offshore wind industry

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Energy Global,

The Investment in Talent Group, set up by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), which aims to help increase the number of skilled people working in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry is holding its first meeting today. The new group aims to ensure that the industry attracts a wide, diverse pool of talent as the number of jobs in offshore wind is set to treble to 27 000 by 2030.

The Investment in Talent Group includes representatives from leading companies in the sector and from the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as trade associations and academic institutions.

The launch of the new group is one of a series of initiatives being undertaken by industry and government as part of the landmark Offshore Wind Sector Deal announced in March. The deal sets out a series of commitments to ensure that offshore wind will be generating at least one-third of the UK’s electricity by 2030, making it the backbone of our future clean energy system and bringing significant economic benefits to the whole of the UK.

The new group will be run by a skills professional funded by the industry, Celia Anderson, who brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She has worked on the national oil and gas talent pipeline with government and industry. She has also delivered an energy strategy for the East of England, developing routes for apprentices, undergraduates and graduates, as well as former military personnel and jobseekers, into the energy industry in the region.

Celia is an Associate Consultant with Nautilus Associates and also leads the offshore wind industry-funded Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Coordination Hub, strengthening the link between industry and STEM education delivery in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Celia Anderson said, “We want the offshore wind industry to be the number one choice for apprentices, STEM graduates and workers from other industries looking for fresh opportunities. This sector is investing long-term in skills, and championing a diverse and inclusive workforce. From people who work wonders in designing, building or maintaining world-leading projects, to people using digital skills to tackle new technological challenges, be they enthusiasts or skilled engineers, there really are opportunities for everyone”.

The offshore wind industry has grown rapidly in recent years, attracting a number of people from other offshore industries looking for a sustainable long-term career. The Investment in Talent Group is developing an offshore energy passporting system to ensure that all parts of the energy sector recognise transferable skills and training, to enable offshore workers to move seamlessly between renewables and other technologies.

The group is being overseen by RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal, who added, “The offshore wind industry is working closely with the government to build a modern workforce, creating new opportunities particularly in coastal communities which need them most. Companies are clustering together to create centres of excellence, building new facilities around the UK”.

“To ensure we attract the best people, this sector is stepping up its ambition to create a more diverse workforce in terms of gender and ethnicity. The offshore wind industry is determined to recruit from the widest pool of talent, so that we fully reflect what makes the UK such an exciting, innovative, and successful place to do business”.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal sets a target to double the proportion of women in the industry to one-third by 2030. A target for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation will be announced by the end of the year.

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