Offshore firm’s new recruits start work on Galloper construction
- Credit: Archant
More than 100 new wind turbine technicians have been taken on by energy company 3sun Group, swelling its staff roll to more than 400.
Some of the new recruits will join the 40-strong team building the 56 turbines for the Galloper offshore wind farm at the company's pre-assembly yard at Great Yarmouth port.
They were selected from the 1,500-plus applications the company received when it announced its recruitment drive in January, including many out-of-work oil and gas workers looking to retrain.
After completing training at the 3sun Academy, they are now joining teams across the UK and Europe, with some earmarked for the 'Made in Great Yarmouth' project at Great Yarmouth's Outer Harbour, where a 120m crane stands ready to lift the turbines on to vessels to take them to installation off the coast of Suffolk.
Other technicians will work on servicing £6m of new and existing offshore wind farm contracts in the UK and across the world.
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Graham Hacon, 3sun chief executive, said local people building the turbines for windfarms off the east coast was 'exactly what we have been working towards.
'People in the town can see these towers being built and changing their town's skyline and it is local labour making it happen. It makes it especially poignant as this year is our 10th anniversary.'
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Among the recruits are Curtis Robinson, 21, who completed the pre-apprenticeship last summer, and former oil and gas workers Carl Hills and Bryan Marshall, made redundant last year.
Mr Hills, 46, said offshore wind offered him the chance of a 'job for life' after years working offshore across the world – in Africa, Malaysia, Qatar – as a maintenance supervisor.
'Some of my skills from oil and gas have been transferable. I am a mechanic by trade, I have worked on oil rigs so working at height isn't an issue. I am used to working abroad for long periods.'
Former RAF engineer Mr Marshall, 36, was a mechanical hydraulic engineer. Made redundant in 2015, he moved into a lower level offshore job for a year before facing redundancy again.
'The wind industry can use a lot of the skills I already have,' he said. 'I can do mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and working at height. I'm enjoying the training and looking forward to starting work.'
Meanwhile, Mr Robinson, a former Flegg High School student from Ormesby, said he was pleased to return to 3sun Group after completing its two-year pre-apprenticeship scheme last summer.
He said: 'This is what I wanted. I'll start in a ground technician's role and will hopefully progress into mechanical and electrical work.'