Great Yarmouth firm secures major jobs boost for the offshore wind industry



The boss of a Great Yarmouth-based energy company has announced plans for a major recruitment drive that will create 100 new jobs in the offshore wind industry.

The 3sun Group is looking to bolster the manpower of its technical teams to meet a Europe-wide demand for its products and services, which includes site inspections and maintenance support.

But Graham Hacon, managing director, said he would look to fill the jobs with engineers from the army, navy and RAF to help people forge a new career path outside of the armed services.

The move has been welcomed in the energy sector by Celia Anderson, the executive director of East of England Energy Group, as an example of the big opportunities presented by the region's burgeoning offshore energy sector.

And it comes as energy-sector businesses descend on the Norfolk Showground for day two of the East of England Energy Group 'Sea of Opportunity' Conference, which aims to scrutinise the future opportunities of the offshore energy sector.

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Mr Hacon said: 'The high-quality services provided, along with a growing awareness in the full range of products and services we deliver, has resulted in increased demand from our clients to provide technicians across the UK and abroad.

'We plan on recruiting 100 individuals to our technical teams, focusing on the wind turbine area of the business, including electrical, mechanical, instrumentation, pre-assemble, installation and cabling engineers.

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'In the last five years the business has expanded rapidly and to accommodate our growth plans, we invested £500,000 in the development of our new headquarters in Great Yarmouth. We currently have 200 people operating out of our Great Yarmouth office and the new facility provides us with the capacity to increase our staff numbers to 300.

'Bolstering our workforce will put us in a strong position to attract and secure further contracts, generating benefits for the local economy and supporting employment in the area.'

The 3sun group, which employs 200 people out of its headquarters in Yarmouth and has bases in Oban, Aberdeen, Bergen, in Norway, and Esbjerg, in Denmark, saw its turnover increase from £2.4m in 2010 to £6.5m in 2011, while achieving about £12m in 2012.

It is currently working on offshore projects across the UK and Europe, and has overseas experience in Asia, Africa, USA and New Zealand.

The group works with the ex-forces and construction workers to help retrain people to create a larger pool of technicians serving the oil and gas and renewables industry.

Ms Anderson said: 'The opportunities are big here in the East of England, which is why 3sun are able to take on so many people at a fast rate.'

She added: 'What the industry needs is a gentle flow of people from all of the armed services at all ranks from all disciplines as the industry continues to grow.'

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