OPINION: Hundreds of thousands of new ‘green jobs’ are in the pipeline

Jack Hurren

Jack Hurren - Credit: Submitted

Youngsters Jovita Beeston and Jack Hurren, are already pursuing green careers with ScottishPower Renewables on its East Anglia ONE windfarm and talk about their opportunity to carve careers for life in one of the fastest-paced exciting industries and what they are doing to help address climate change.

Jack Hurren, 23, Balance of Plant Technician at ScottishPower Renewables.
We hear about Net Zero targets on the news and the impact of the damage to the planet on real people’s lives, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of an industry working to do something about this.

Offshore wind was the perfect career choice for me for many reasons – the environmental aspects, the hands-on work, and the lifestyle. The prospects for a young person are incredible. Potentially you can have a job for life, with a massive increase in the development of new offshore windfarms in the UK and all over the world, which is hugely appealing

Before I understood how offshore wind fits in to the UK’s energy mix, it had never really occurred to me to consider where my electricity comes from.

But, knowing I work for a company that only produces 100% green energy and generates the power for people to live more sustainable lives, gives me real peace of mind and satisfaction.
It also offers me a clear career path in a global industry that could take me anywhere. Offshore wind is developing rapidly across the world with potential opportunities ahead to travel and work in the likes of the US, Asia and, of course, the busy wind market across Europe.

The industry is only going to get bigger and offer more and more opportunities with companies like ScottishPower Renewables, and right across the mass of supply chain businesses working with developers growing the industry.

To work in a global industry for a company that offers entry level careers for local people is really exciting. All the people at the Lowestoft base are from within a 30km distance to site and almost a fifth of our direct workforce on site are trainees.

Day-to-day, my job is incredibly varied. I am part of a team focused on crane maintenance, making sure the offshore structures are operational. My work involves servicing, maintaining and repairing the cranes on the foundation of the turbines, working with the turbine technicians so they can carry out their inspections and maintenance safely.

I discovered offshore wind almost by accident when someone told me about the Offshore Wind Skills Centre based at East Coast College after I completed a foundation degree.

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I’ve chosen a technical role, but offshore wind offers a huge variety of opportunities that don’t demand engineering skills.

It feels good to be part of an exciting industry making a difference and I feel fortunate to have chosen a career path I hope will last a lifetime. And whatever opportunities come my way and wherever I end up working, I know it all started right here in East Anglia.

Jovita Beeston

Jovita Beeston - Credit: www.robhowarthphotography.co.uk

Jovita Beeston, 19, Balance of Plant Technician Apprentice at ScottishPower Renewables:
I’m so excited to be contributing to an industry that is literally changing the world by providing a solution to the biggest emergency of our time – climate change.

As one of ScottishPower’s first-ever offshore apprentices, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to demonstrate a clear pathway for people like me to work in a green industry, generating clean renewable energy to power our lives.

We can take the electricity that lights our homes, charges our phones, and boils our kettles for granted, but it’s great to see that more and more people now care about where their energy comes from.
I discovered the crucial role offshore wind will play in a cleaner energy future while studying engineering at the University Technical College Norfolk in Norwich. I knew instantly it was the sector for me.

But, you don’t need to go to work on an offshore windfarm to make a difference.

Climate change affects all our lives, and the world needs to act now. Small changes by individuals add up to big differences together – whether we decide to walk instead of driving, swap from diesel to electric cars, eat less meat or think about the clothes we buy.

I’ve made changes in my own life to go greener. We have zero food waste at home by having free range chickens, and I have my own greenhouse where I grow vegetables, fruit, herbs, and spices – cutting my travel to shops which collectively reduces my carbon footprint. We have a smart meter to track our energy output, helping my family reduce the energy we use.

Doing something that makes such a difference is important to me. And doing a job I love is too. Working in the renewables industry gives me both.
Working for an industry – and a company – that only produces 100% green, clean energy and reduces the need for fossil fuels, gives me huge pride. With ScottishPower’s plans to create three new windfarms off Suffolk under the banner of the East Anglia Hub, opportunities to be part of it will multiply.

And as a team, we’re already growing, with two new apprentices joining the team and four of us now working on the path to Net Zero.
We are all excited to be part of creating a clean energy future, with East Anglia right at the forefront.