Course will prepare unemployed for renewables industry work

Students abseiled down a wind turbine tower and practiced life-saving skills and survival at sea dur

Students abseiled down a wind turbine tower and practiced life-saving skills and survival at sea during a course to prepare unemployed people for a career in the renewable energy industry. - Credit: Archant

Students abseiled down a wind turbine tower and practiced life-saving skills during a course to prepare unemployed people for a career in the renewable energy industry.

The government-funded Passport to Work course was run by Energising Harwich and featured a number of practical lessons at Lowestoft College.

The college is home to an 18m-high wind turbine training tower and an environmental survival tank, which can simulate hostile sea conditions.

The training, which will allow participants to work offshore, took place during the last week of the course and was provided by CWind's training division – the National Wind Farm Centres.

It included working at height, sea survival, fire awareness and first aid.

Training manager Tom O'Shea said: 'The students find it daunting before they arrive but we deliver the course gradually. By the end of the course they are doing fairly complex rescues along with first aid techniques.'

He said about 50 per cent of students went on to find a job in the wind industry as a result of the programme and up to 90pc found paid work after completing the course.

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The Energising Harwich scheme is currently only open to unemployed people from North Essex and Tendring area,

However, Mr O'Shea said there was likely to be funding available for a similar scheme locally if a college was prepared to set it up – particularly after Scottish Power Renewables confirmed Great Yarmouth as the construction port for its £2.5billion offshore wind farm East Anglia One.

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