Scheme set to boost wind farm careers

Developer’s behind the world’s largest off-shore wind farm which is set to be built off the county’s coast have launched an initiative to create a new generation of skilled workers.

‘Champions for Wind’ is a secondary school scheme aimed at mapping out the career progression routes students can take to gain employment in the multi billion pound off-shore wind farm industry.

The educational initiative is the brainchild of Forewind, the developers of Dogger Bank, which is due to be built nearly 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast. The development is expected to include about 2,600 giant turbines each up to 400ft tall, will stretch across an area equivalent to the size of North Yorkshire.

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Alex Richards, Scarborough Borough Council’s off-shore wind project manager, said: “Projects like this are essential if we are to ensure that proposed investments in UK waters provide economic benefits on UK shores. There will be opportunities for schools in our borough and the North Yorkshire area to directly benefit from this project.”

The first stage of the programme will see 10 teacher ‘champions’ selected from schools within the Dogger Bank catchment area.

Once selected the teachers will develop and deliver a school curriculum relevant to the career opportunities being offered by the industry. Each teacher will deliver this curriculum in two or three schools and will receive a bursary to support their work.

Forewind’s general manager, Lee Clarke, said: “By facilitating careers education for young people in the Yorkshire area we hope to meet the needs of the local community whilst assisting the wind industry by boosting the number of motivated young people seeking to gain employment in this type of work.”

The ‘champions’ will be selected in January and the teachers will have six months to design the programme before it is implemented, and rolled out to other schools.