The growing offshore wind industry will offer a whole range of job opportunities to people looking for a career in renewables.
To raise awareness amongst 13 to 14 year olds of the potential career opportunities in offshore wind energy and give an understanding of the qualifications and experience required to gain employment in the industry Forewind, in partnership with the the Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA), has developed an innovative careers education engagement programme called Champions for Wind.
Now in its third year, the initial phase of the programme was to identify and work with a network of approximately 10 secondary and special school teacher “champions” in the Yorkshire area, near to Forewind’s first development, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck. The success of this initiative led to the extension of the programme, with 10 teachers in the Teesside area, near to the location for the proposed infrastructure for Dogger Bank Teesside, appointed in mid 2012. A third cohort of teachers, from across both geographic areas, has now been welcomed onboard as "champions".
Each teacher “champion”, working with careers advisors and wind industry representatives, designs and develops a curriculum-based resource relevant to their local area and appropriate to their school on opportunities offered by the offshore wind industry. The teachers then deliver their resource to two to three schools each and will receive a bursary to support their work.
By facilitating careers education for young people in the area around the Dogger Bank projects' onshore infrastructure, Forewind aims to meet the needs of the local community while also supporting the wind industry by boosting the number of motivated young people entering into it.
The objectives of the programme include: gender balance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects as well as careers; roundedness of the industry; pride, a sense of ownership and skills development in the local area; innovation; providing a vision for the future; building on any existing programmes fostering teacher development, and having a robust evaluation methodology.
More information can be found on the HETA website.