Today (June 15) is Global Wind Day, a worldwide event for “discovering wind energy, its power and the possibilities it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies and boost jobs and growth”.

The East of England is one of the world’s leading regions for offshore and onshore wind – and the sector offers plenty of job opportunities for young people.

It’s certainly proving a good career move for 20-year-old Jovita Beeston, one of ScottishPower Renewables’ first plant technician apprentices based out of East Anglia ONE – the company’s flagship wind farm off the Suffolk coast.

Here Jovita tells us about her career in wind to date, and why she believes more women should be encouraged into the sector.

When and where did your interest in the energy sector begin?

My first experience with renewable energy was at UTCN (University Technical College Norfolk). I was fortunate to go there because it helped me experience different opportunities and sectors within engineering.

It also led to me working with Vattenfall as an intern. I went to Amsterdam with them, I travelled around, and it was amazing.

I am now working with ScottishPower Renewables because I know it will further my career, and they're a nice company as well.

Why did you apply for the apprenticeship at ScottishPower Renewables?

I heard about this apprenticeship through my college. They suggested me for the job because they knew my interests and who I’d worked with.

When I applied for the job, I was under 18, and you have to be 18 to go offshore, but I knew that the role would provide me with the experience and training to work offshore when I was old enough.

What type of work does the apprenticeship involve?

It's quite different every day, which is great, but recently I've been exposed more to electrical work, which is part of the course I’m doing at East Coast College in Lowestoft.

I am studying mechatronics – it’s a mix of mechanical and electronics – and there is a large amount of training involved. I've been on various courses such as sea survival, working at heights, but also additional ones such as advanced first aid and VHF (very high frequency).

They kind of throw you into everything – it's really good.

What job will you have at the end of the apprenticeship?

Obviously, it is not guaranteed, but hopefully I'll qualify and become a balance of plant technician – we call them BoP technicians. That will allow me to be in charge of more teams offshore, have a bit more independence and be a little bit bossier as well!

Being able to say I've had this experience offshore is also a massive thing – because it is quite difficult to get this experience.

Eastern Daily Press: ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm produces enough green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm produces enough green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes (Image: ScottishPower Renewables)

What are your career aspirations beyond that?

I am definitely hoping to stay with SPR because throughout these three years I've found out how supportive and nice a company they are.

I'd like to go up the ladder and have more responsibility over a team in the future, but one of the main things I’d like to get involved with is ScottishPower’s future projects.

We have East Anglia THREE currently being processed, so it'd be a really good opportunity to be involved in that, and maybe even some more opportunities abroad.

Why is it important for everyone to recognise Wind Day 2023?

I would say it's important because it allows other people to discover wind energy – and it shows the importance of my job, as well as others at East Anglia ONE and ScottishPower.

It also shows the opportunities available – both offshore and onshore – and obviously wind is very important for green energy and our future, so it's good for people to recognise that.

What makes the wind sector appealing to young female workers like yourself?

The scheme I’m on is amazing – I feel like I’m making a difference, and it allows me to learn on the job, which is really good. But I also know that I'm the only female technician on site.

My personal experience in going to college is that females don't think about this side of the industry, but I know ScottishPower is promoting it, and young people are now being shown this side more.

In the next couple of years, I think we'll definitely get more females offshore.

What could be done to attract more women to the sector, in your opinion?

Personally, I think it’s daunting when looking at this sector, and that's obviously just due to it being a male-dominated environment.

Unfortunately, that is what people focus on when they're looking at these sorts of jobs, but I think it needs to be highlighted that it’s not the reality.

I’ve not experienced anything but kindness, and I think women need to understand that it's not scary! I was apprehensive when I applied, but then I realised how wrong I was after just a few weeks of joining.