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Call for offshore training to be recognised in tenders to avert workforce ‘crisis’

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A 'workforce crisis' is looming in the region’s offshore wind industry unless companies are recognised for their investment in training when tendering for work, according to a leading figure in the sector. Graham Hacon, CEO of Great Yarmouth-based offshore wind services firm 3sun Group, told the SNS2019 conference in Norwich this week that businesses training technicians and inspection engineers can no longer carry the financial burden of funding training then lose tenders to companies that invest nothing. His firm has spent more than £3 million in the last two years on training new entrants into the industry. “None of our competitors in the East of England trains on the scale and to the value that we do or shows the same commitment to developing a pipeline of skilled workers to sustain the industry’s future demands," he said. "However, when it comes to tendering, there remains no recognition for companies like ours that make this investment. We pay for the training, and then don’t get awarded the work.” He is calling for evidence of training provision to be compulsory in tenders.

...whilst new industry council launched to develop region’s energy industry

New Anglia LEP has called for a new approach on the strategic delivery of future energy supply by leading on the creation of the UK’s first All Energy Industry Council (AEIC) to help develop the offshore wind cluster alongside planned investment and development across the energy industry. Norfolk and Suffolk is becoming a centre for UK energy generation thanks to its mix of offshore, gas and nuclear production which together could be worth £59.4bn by 2040. The government-backed council will be chaired by Mark Goodall, senior manager of Aker Solutions and is made up of all energy suppliers, local authorities, business groups and a member trade body. Mark Goodall said: “The East of England is pivotal in contributing to energy transition and decarbonising our sources and uses of energy. Never before has the future of energy been so high on the global agenda in terms of meeting demand while being mindful of climate change. We need to capitalise on our region’s richness in natural resources and be at the forefront of this transition.“

Doug Field, chair of New Anglia LEP, said: “Already 52 per cent of the UK’s offshore wind power capacity is generated in Norfolk and Suffolk and Bacton Gas Terminal provides on average 30 per centof the UK’s gas supply. Our region is one of the busiest and most densely packed energy regions in the world. There is immense opportunity for economic and business growth with the right strategic direction and delivery.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 August 2019 07:22 )