Students from across the region flocked to ScottishPower Renewables’ stand at the Suffolk Skills Show to experience what a windfarm is really like through its virtual reality headsets.
The technology allowed the students to be transported from shore by boat and helicopter to visit the company’s West of Duddon Sands windfarm, off the coast of Cumbria, as well as experiencing climbing up inside a turbine and the view looking out from the top at Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore windfarm.
ScottishPower Renewables attended the Suffolk Skills Show at Trinity Park on Wednesday 19th October to speak to students about considering a career in energy engineering, environmental science and the many other disciplines required to support projects such as its East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm.
The team from ScottishPower Renewables engaged with students about the career opportunities available in the offshore wind industry, as well as giving them an insight into the work the company will be undertaking in the region.
ScottishPower Renewables also sponsored the ‘Mad Science’ stand, which saw ‘Helium Helen’ and ‘Neutron Nic’ conducting wind related activity workshops to get the students enthused about wind power and help to bring the industry to life.
As part of the developer’s Skills Strategy for East Anglia ONE, its chosen turbine supplier, Siemens, had the stand next to ScottishPower Renewables at the show and engaged with students through a variety of STEM activities.
ScottishPower Renewables has a detailed Skills Strategy for East Anglia ONE, which has been agreed with councils across Suffolk, with the aim to develop a skilled local workforce who can access future employment opportunities within the offshore wind industry. Keen to make specialist training more accessible, the company is also funding four postgraduate scholarships at the University of East Anglia for students studying Energy Engineering with Environmental Management and Environmental Science.
Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower Renewables’ project director for East Anglia ONE, commented: “Supporting young professionals through education and training is an important part of our strategy and commitment to the region. We are keen for people in East Anglia to be equipped with the capabilities and vision to lead the energy industry into the future.
“East Anglia ONE is one of four windfarms we are hoping to develop off the coast of Suffolk and, upon completion in 2020, the windfarm will be able to provide power for the equivalent of approximately 500,000 homes*. Events like the Suffolk Skills Show are the perfect way for us to help students consider if a career in offshore wind could be right for them”.
Chris Briggs, Business Development Manager at Siemens Wind Power commented: “As the turbine supplier for East Anglia ONE and with our new facility in Hull we are equally keen to encourage the next generation to consider a career in engineering. We have already been engaging with students at both Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth colleges and we’re keen to encourage as many young people as possible to consider a career in the sector, as there will be a wide range of opportunities available on this and other similar projects.”
‘Atomic Annie’ (Annie Hall) of Mad Science said: “We’re delighted to be working with ScottishPower Renewables to show students how exciting and interesting science and engineering can be. It’s been widely reported that we need more young scientists, so it is critical we encourage the next generation to ‘skill up’ to be able to access the jobs on projects like East Anglia ONE.”
The Suffolk Skills Show saw demonstrations, challenges and ‘Have a Go’ events offered from various businesses from a wide range of sectors. Companies, both local and national, gave students an idea of how to turn their favourite subjects into skills and qualifications needed for apprenticeships and employment.
If you would like to know more about ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE project please visit www.spreastanglia.co.uk