We can all help capture young minds to build career aspiration

12th January 2018

It was like watching a light being switched on. The realisation of the wealth of previously hidden opportunities opening up to young people as they listened to other young people talking about the start of their careers, their experiences in careers in the increasingly diverse energy industry.

Innovation and invention is exciting, just the thing to ignite young brains and engage them with thinking about their futures.

The development of offshore renewables is all about new ideas and making it work better for less. Showcasing innovation is key to enticing young people into considering careers in an industry that is fast-paced and quickly changing.

Without people constantly evaluating, ‘thinking outside the box’ and pushing their ideas further and further, the multi-billion investment we are seeing off our coasts would not be happening.

The ingenious and ambitious ideas we see every day in the SCORE team would inspire the most cynical young mind about how individuals can make an impact on a new industry.

The industry been especially go-ahead in working with young people in the eastern region to engage them to consider careers in the industry from engineering to marketing, taking projects into the classroom to encourage the free thinking and problem solving that will always be needed in the development of the industry.

It highlights the world-leading status of the East of England with decades of growing opportunities ahead.

Young people need to be shown how they can fit into the industry, what skills they need and that there are a host of other roles other than at the “coalface” of offshore wind.

For the right skills to be shaped within schools, teachers need to be engaged too. How inspiring would it be for young people to be able to spend time with small businesses like those who win SCORE grants to push their inventions forward? To witness at a young age that inventors and developing technology and ideas are happening in their community and to have ambition to be a force for change is not a futile or unrealistic ambition would inspire aspiration and determination to follow the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects so desperately needed by the industry.

Schools, under pressure of targets and a tight curriculum, find it hard to build these links into the school day.

But, in the East of England, there is a rapidly-growing supply chain, many small to medium-sized businesses, supporting the massive investment that will stretch ahead for decades. Future jobs are not simply those with the operators in the construction and maintenance of the wind farms off our coast, they are with the numerous and varies supply chain companies supporting it – and that’s where schools need to focus to work with smaller companies to find out.

There is much to be achieved on the skills agenda for offshore renewables – and we’re only scratching the surface and would benefit from the support of everyone in the industry to invest time in capturing the minds of the future generation, for theirs and the industry’s sake.

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