‘Be ready for these jobs’ - Wind farm developer expects to create 160 jobs... by 2023

Vattenfall, the developer of two major wind farms off the coast of Norfolk, has announced a round of

Vattenfall, the developer of two major wind farms off the coast of Norfolk, has announced a round of public engagement days. Photo credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Training providers have been put on alert to ensure young people can take advantage of the jobs being created in the renewable energy industry over the next generation.

It comes as offshore wind developer Vattenfall told this paper it is likely to need up to 160 technicians and managers for its two major farms off the coast of Norfolk by the mid-2020s.

And the company says it wants to support efforts to maximise the number of local workers on Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas, two projects which could total 3.6GW of capacity.

Vattenfall is this week holding an engagement campaign across the north of the county to discuss the latest development plans, with events in Aylsham, Happisburgh, Necton and North Walsham.

Sue Falch-Lovesey, Vattenfall's Norfolk-based local liaison officer and skills champion, said early notice would give providers the best chance of preparing local people for the opportunities.

'The longer we can give, the better,' she said. 'We hope that with a consent and investment decision, Vattenfall – and its service contractors – could be recruiting the first 80 skilled technicians and managers over the operating life of Norfolk Vanguard as early as 2022 or 2023.

'This could be quickly followed by recruitment for another 80 staff for Norfolk Boreas.

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'We would like to start early preparations with local skills providers and recruitment agencies now so that we can secure this work for as many local people as possible.'

Ian Pease, commercial director at Lowestoft College, which will merge with Great Yarmouth College to form East Coast College on April 1, said it was working with developers to ensure students were ready for the new jobs.

'We want to train them so they can work in offshore wind but also oil and gas, nuclear, and wider manufacturing,' he said.

The college has more than 300 16-to-18-year-olds on its engineering courses, but also enrols more than 1,000 people a year for shorter courses such as offshore safety.

'The long-term sustainable jobs will come from operations and maintenance, but as the technology changes, we need to make sure that our provision matches their requirements,' added Mr Pease.

See http://norfolkvanguard.vattenfall.co.uk for event details.

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