ROUTES TO OFFSHORE WIND
My apprenticeship gave me the technical, educational and personal foundations that have helped me achieve far more than I thought I ever would have done when leaving school. It has given me a career in the offshore wind industry - where every day brings a new challenge while contributing to something that I feel brings benefit to the wider society.
With such a variety of roles available, Offshore Wind truly is an industry that is accessible to people from many educational and technical backgrounds, at different stages of their career.
So whether you are planning your future, are a graduate, or are considering a career transition, information is available to help guide your journey to Offshore Wind.
INSPIRING ENGINEERS CODE OF PRACTICE
The Inspiring Engineers Code of Practice has been developed with input from over 40 organisations from across the engineering sector.
The Code asks Signatories to commit to work together to inspire and engage young people, and increase the number and diversity of those entering the profession. It is open to any organisation that funds, designs and/or delivers engineering-inspiration activities, including STEM programmes that encourage young people into engineering.
The Code is managed and delivered by EngineeringUK, on behalf of the wider engineering sector, and further information on the Code and the commitments involved is available on their website.
The website also has resources for students, parents and teachers who want to find out more about or support STEM education.
The offshore wind industry has committed to 2.5% of its employed workforce to being apprentices. The industry is currently working to attract more diversity in both gender and ethnicity, particularly in the engineering and technical apprenticeships.
A few apprenticeships are at degree level, for people transferring into the sector from other sectors (e.g. military or oil & gas) at senior levels. The majority of apprenticeships are technical ones delivered in coastal colleges where much of the manufacturing, construction, manufacturing and operations & maintenance activities are focused e.g. Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Grimsby, Newcastle etc.
An example of a typical technical apprenticeship is Maintenance and Engineering Operations Technician (MOET) an NVQ level 3 standard, which is usually a 3 year programme for engineering and manufacturing roles.
The industry also recruits for non-technical apprenticeship, such as accounting, business and administration.
APPRENTICESHIPS IN SCOTLAND
ESP is a collaboration of Scotland’s colleges and industry partners established to increase Scotland’s capability and capacity to deliver the right skills for the energy, engineering and construction sectors to meet industry demand.
As the college sector agency for energy, engineering and construction it works a cohesive partnership across Scotland’s colleges to demonstrate a responsiveness and collective capability to provide the skills required by industry. For more information see the ESP Scotland website.
The Government apprenticeship websites have more information on how to become, or how to hire an apprentice. You can browse apprenticeships available by interest, and follow the employer guides, which will take you through the process of setting up apprenticeships within your company. Please see the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland websites for the relevant opportunities and guidance for you.
Onshore Enabling and Cable Civils Package Manager, RWE Renewables
My apprenticeship provided me with the sound practical experience and a foundation of understanding with which to further my academic potential and really develop my Engineering career. I am proud to work at RWE in the renewables industry, knowing that each day I am using my skills and experience to overcome challenges that ultimately improve the way in which we interact with the world that we all live in.
In some companies, up to 15% of the employees working offshore are ex-military, and there is a growing number of veterans in roles across the industry in onshore roles. Many companies are committed to the Employer’s Recognition Scheme awards with a number working towards or having achieved Gold. Ask to talk to their Armed Forces Champion for advice. The offshore wind sector has committed to supporting military veterans into roles in the industry.
If considering offshore turbine technician roles, consider also looking for roles that build experience and knowledge either working on onshore turbines or onshore roles with companies supporting offshore wind operations.
Join groups such as Military in the Offshore Wind Sector on LinkedIn to build contacts, seek advice from people already in the type of roles that you might be interested and/or of similar military background. Other groups to consider include Vattenfall Military or networking groups such as Leavers’ Link.