OW recognises the vital importance of growing the base of skilled people able and keen to work in the offshore wind sector. To support the broader skills development agenda OW is well connected to the skills stakeholders that are promoting and delivering the skills needs of our sector.
OW in the UK has a Strategic Industry Partnership with SSERC to deliver a comprehensive STEM programme that full aligns with relevant public sector strategies. Part of the Partnership is aimed at growing and deploying a growing number of STEM Ambassadors to schools. Additionally, OW is funding:
And a range of other STEM initiatives.
In an evolving skills landscape OW is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure the necessary actions are taking place to ensure the right numbers of people with the right skills and qualifications are available at the right time for this rapidly growing sector. OW is an active contributor through our work with skills working groups at sector organisations including at UK level - OWIC (Offshore Wind Industry Council), Scottish level - SOWEC (Scottish Offshore Wind Council) and regional - UHI, Energy Transition Zone.
Through collaboration with these and other organisations OW is able to bring its operational experience to discussions on future skills needs and channel resources to where they are needed. By supporting pathways through schools, colleges, universities and career transitions – OW is making a vital contribution to ensuring the employment opportunities in the sector are realised. Deployment of offshore wind to reach the hugely ambitious targets will require a rapid growth in skills availability.
As the ramp up towards operational phase begins at Buckie so Moray West is developing its links with UHI Moray College based in nearby Elgin. Through these links:
OW in the UK has active links with several universities across Scotland to support undergraduate and graduate programmes. These include a funded PhD programme, guest lectures, scholarships (see below) and curriculum development.
There is an annual award of up to £12,000 for young applicants from the north and east of Scotland who are about to start undergraduate courses relevant to the offshore wind sector. This fund is publicised through the Blackbullion portal.
OW recognises the value of our Armed Forces and currently has bronze award of the Employer Recognition Scheme and progressing to silver level. With the Moray West operations base at Buckie being within a few miles of 2 major military bases at Kinloss and Lossiemouth there are great opportunities to support transition out of the armed forces into new careers, as well as wider support for the armed forces community.