Offshore firms turn to jobcentres for new recruits

Matt Knights Matt Knights

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
12:40 PM

Ex-serviceman and former prison officer Matt Knights is being seconded by EEEGR (East of England Energy Group) to Jobcentre Plus to help recruit much-needed workers for the region’s energy industry.

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Initially he will focus his attention on the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas, trying to match the ability of people looking for jobs with an increasing demand from expanding energy companies in the region.

The rapid development of the offshore wind sector and a new focus on the oil and gas business in the Southern North Sea has prompted a host of vacancies in the regional energy supply chain.

Matt, 31, who joined EEEGR and its Skills for Energy team earlier this year, took up his one-year role of energy employment adviser to Jobcentre Plus earlier this month.

He said: “Because of higher unemployment levels in Yarmouth and Lowestoft, I’ll be looking first through their entire database of 5000-6000 job seekers to find any who we can help fast-track through to the energy industry. We can also weed out any who are clearly not suitable.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to work with the Jobcentre to develop closer links with the energy industry and create greater understanding of its needs to find potential workers to meet growth. They will include ex-services personnel and workers from with other industries.”

Matt joined the Army at 18 and went into the Royal Engineers serving in Kosovo, Iraq and Germany until 2004. Later he became prison officer at Blundeston until it closed last December and was then taken on as project coordinator and military liaison specialist for EEEGR.

In his new post, funded by Jobcentre Plus and Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Matt said it might even be necessary to take a message to young students. If college leavers faced unemployment or those training for engineering roles could not find jobs, they might have to be pointed in the direction of the energy industry.

Julia Nix, regional manager for Jobcentre Plus, said: “I am delighted that Matt will be joining us in this exciting new role. There is a wide range of jobs available within the energy sector and it is so important that we maximise these employment opportunities by helping local people secure work in this expanding industry.

“By identifying and up skilling suitable individuals Matt will be able to meet the needs of our existing employers as well as new employers moving into the area by providing them with skilled applicants to fill their vacancies.”

5 comments

  • Good Luck to him , but surely someone with experience in the offshore energy industry or even offshore recruitment might have been more suitable? Was this vacancy ever advertised ? I have over 35 years offshore home and abroad in contract management and no one asked me !

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    C. Reynolds

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Interesting that this story appeared on the day that SSE announced they are pulling out of the next major offshore wind farm off East Anglia and slowing development of others elswhere. Just what is the future for these expensive offshore power generation projects. Who knows, if the backers pull out we may need Russian gas to run our power stations after all, despite what Prime Minister Cameron has been saying.

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    Port Watcher

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • C. Reynolds. Of course it wasnt advertised. All vacancies go to the EEEGR's friends and relatives. It is a closed shop. As for experience offshore. I wouldnt trust EEEGR with a bath toy let alone the offshore industry. Just another talking shop and something to do, for those who cannot do or have never worked in the offshore industry. And yes. I work in the offshore industry and have forgotten more than any of them at EEEGR will ever know, and have never been asked if I would like to join.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • "......they might have to be pointed in the direction of the energy industry." Well, if they are not willing, then this is a dangerous game to play especially with the offshore industry. Also EDP the headline states:- "Offshore firms turn to jobcentres for new recruits". Which offshore companies ?. There is no mention of any 'companies' turning to the jobcentre in the article. Yet another misleading headline.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Good Luck to him , but surely someone with experience in the offshore energy industry or even offshore recruitment might have been more suitable? Was this vacancy ever advertised ? I have over 35 years offshore home and abroad in contract management and no one asked me !

    Report this comment

    C. Reynolds

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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