Teesside University to boost local skilled workforce for offshore wind farm
Teesside University has recently signed an agreement with Innogy’s Sofia Offshore Wind Farm to develop training, education, skills development and employment opportunity initiatives to grow local talent to man these wind farms.
This partnership is to ensure that there is a sufficient and capable local workforce that is equipped with the relevant skills to maintain and operate the 1.4 gigawatt Sofia project.
The construction site for the Sofia wind farm project will be located 195 kilometres from shore on Dogger Bank in the North Sea. With a landfall in Teesside and an operations facility to be based at a northeast port, a local skilled workforce will be vital to the construction and running of the wind farm.
According to Sofia Offshore Wind Farm Senior Consents Manager Kim Gauld-Clark, they will work with the university on various initiatives involving curriculum development, delivering offshore wind STEM-related master-classes, offering student mentoring and internships, sponsoring study projects, and being involved in university careers fairs and events.
This collaboration will be led by Teesside University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies which has established prominence in collaborating with industries to help provide companies with skilled graduates and relevant research expertise.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Gauld-Clark and Teeside University’s Associate Dean of Enterprise and Business Engagement Siobhan Fenton.
“The offshore wind industry is a rapidly developing sector which provides a wide range of opportunities for collaboration, employment and skills development,” said Fenton.
“Sofia’s project is extremely ambitious we are delighted to be working alongside them as the initiative develops – providing additional opportunities for our students and graduates and combining our joint expertise for the greater benefit of the region.”
The UK’s offshore wind sector is forecasted to become a growing employment market by 2030, with figures that will almost triple to about 27,000.
This shows that partnerships such as this by Innogy and Teesside will continue to be relevant in the coming years to prepare graduates for high-skilled jobs across the UK supply chain. It is vital for educational institutions to continue to collaborate with industry players to ensure that these skills will be instilled in graduates of the future.
The MOU for the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm collaboration was signed at Teesside University on February 10 and will be in place for the coming three years with regular progress reviews to be performed annually.