Skills strategy in place after boost for jobs in Lowestoft

Jonathan Cole, managing director of offshore wind for ScottishPower Renewables, at the Offshore Wind

Jonathan Cole, managing director of offshore wind for ScottishPower Renewables, at the Offshore Wind Works conference in Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant

A strategy has been put in place to try to build up the skills of East Anglian youngsters so they can take advantage of a massive jobs boost for the region in offshore wind.

Lowestoft was confirmed as new long-term operations base for the East Anglia ONE windfarm off the Suffolk coast this week, guaranteeing hundreds of highly-skilled technical jobs in the town for generations.

The town will also be the construction base for the project, as well as the construction base for the Galloper windfarm, guaranteeing thousands more short-term jobs.

But Simon Gray, chief executive of the East of England Energy Group, said: 'All the ports will need to be utilised, it's not just Lowestoft. Across our region we are looking at a massive potential for investment.'

However Mr Gray said 'more needs to be done' to get youngsters ready for those jobs.

Jonathan Cole – managing director of offshore wind for ScottishPower Renewables, which is behind East Anglia ONE – said a skills strategy for the area had been agreed.

In particular it will seek to develop students' skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects, for example by having Stem 'ambassadors' in schools to raise awareness of their importance.

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'Right across the country there are issues with building skills, particularly in the Stem subjects,' Mr Cole added.

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