Generating ambition, energising careers
Workforce & Skills
The East of England’s energy sector has developed a skilled and diverse workforce over the last 60 years. This has helped many businesses succeed here and grow by exporting their services around the world. Employers, educators and training providers, and the public sector in our region are committed to continuing to build on that talent base by investing in education and training for a new generation of energy professionals.
The drive to Net Zero by 2050 will see a radical shift in the UK’s energy supply, as we decarbonise industry and build our onshore and offshore low carbon capabilities. Developments off the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk alone could create more than 6,000 well-paid, high-skilled, full-time jobs by 2032 (a 600% increase on current direct employment). At the same time, The Ernst & Young report: Sizewell C A catalyst for jobs and growth in the East of England, commissioned by the Sizewell C Consortium has found that the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station would support around 73,000 jobs, including 35,000 in Suffolk, and more than 2,500 businesses across the UK, as well as enabling around 1,500 local apprenticeships during its 10-12 year construction phase.
These developments will need people with capabilities ranging from level 2-3 qualifications for apprentices, through technical qualifications in areas such as safety and maintenance, to degree level and beyond in engineering, computing and other technologies – as well as expert project and people managers. That is why EEEGR has been working with industry and education providers to develop our energy skills infrastructure over the last 20 years. Its Skills for Energy programme has been running since 2005 to inspire the next generation and to ensure that skills development in the region meets the changing technical and commercial needs of all energy industry sectors.
SKILLS FOR OUR CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE
Among other activities, such as career event days, the Skills for Energy programme has helped establish new degree programmes in our region’s universities and colleges and new technical training centres. For instance, University of East Anglia now offers BEng and MSc degree programmes in Energy Engineering and Energy Engineering with Environment Management. It is also opening the £4.4m Productivity East industry hub that aims to develop engineering, technology and management skills and support business innovation and growth in the region.
Meanwhile, East Coast College, which offers a range of energy, engineering and electrical courses for the sector, has opened an Offshore Wind Skills Centre in Great Yarmouth and a new £11.7 million Energy Skills Centre in Lowestoft. Some of that investment comes through the New Anglia LEP. The New Anglia LEP is also funding a Nuclear Readiness Programme to help local businesses make the most of supply chain opportunities with Sizewell B and C. The project is facilitated by the National Skills Academy Nuclear (NSAN) with delivery through NSAN’s Eastern flagship centre, West Suffolk College. The college offers a wide range of Apprenticeships and Higher Education programmes in engineering, construction and management. West Suffolk College has also opened a state-of-the-art STEM Innovation Campus in Bury St Edmunds, with a growing pipeline of students in engineering, sciences and digital technology disciplines.
New Anglia LEP is also working with the ORE Catapult (which has an office at OrbisEnergy in Lowestoft) on the Fit 4 Offshore Renewables Programme to support the development of competent, capable and competitive supply chain partners.
To find out more about Skills for Energy in the East of England visit www.skillsforenergy.co.uk