'A real buzz': Event at £11.4m skills centre hailed a success
PUBLISHED: 12:46 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:46 04 December 2019
Virtual reality experiences were showcased to more than 450 students from across Suffolk and Norfolk at a special skills event.
With the official opening last month of the new £11.4m energy skills centre at East Coast College in Lowestoft, a major event took centre stage in the world-class facilities.
Skills for Energy 2019 was held last week with students given a taste of the diverse career opportunities, apprenticeships and training courses on offer within the region's expanding and exciting energy industry.
Students engaged in STEM-based interactive activities such as robot and ROV (remotely operated vehicle) control, weld testing, the use of breathing apparatus and virtual reality experiences.
Organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) and sponsored by OPITO, the global skills organisation, the event was held to bridge the skills gap within the energy industry.
Aimed to inspire ambition and aspiration in the next generation of energy professionals, more than 90 per cent of those surveyed said that attending the event had made them consider a career in the industry.
Gemma Head, Skills for Energy Programme Manager at EEEGR, said: "This event has been a real eye-opener for the students that were in attendance, and with so many different activities to participate in there was a real buzz around the building.
"Our SfE event gets bigger and better every year and we're already looking forward to inspiring the next participants in 2020."
More than 30 companies exhibited at the event including ScottishPower Renewables, EDF Energy, 3sun Group, James Fisher Marine Services, Flameskill, OPITO, Survitec, Orsted, ECITB, Gee-Force and Vattenfall.
An OPITO spokesman said: "It is inspiring to see so many students from across the region eager to find out more about the energy industry.
"Support from exhibitors brought the energy sector to life for event attendees who now have a clearer picture of the many opportunities the sector has to offer."
The Skills for Energy event is just one of the elements of the East of England Energy Group's (EEEGR) Skills for Energy Programme, which aims to ensure the ongoing diversity and volume of skilled individuals for the current and future wellbeing of the energy sector.