The Energi Coast Skills Group was created as a sub-group to the North East England regional offshore wind industry cluster, Energi Coast. Offshore wind is a key part of the UK strategy to build a future energy system, powered by clean electricity, to achieve our zero carbon future. Without an appropriately skilled workforce of a scale to meet these ambitions, opportunities for growth and innovation could be impacted, which why is the Energi Coast Skills Group was created.
The Energi Coast Skills Group is facilitated by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership but covers the whole North East England geography. It aims to be inclusive and comprises a broad representation of the education, training, and offshore wind industry community in the North East. Working with national and international stakeholders to bring a unique set of skills, knowledge and perspectives together to build a skilled workforce for the sustainable energy future of North East England.
The skills required for the renewable energy industry are in demand across a range of sectors and investment in large scale projects off our coast such as Dogger Bank Wind Farm and Sofia Offshore Wind Farm will create the world's largest offshore wind farm. This will require even more skilled people in the industry. North East England is well placed to deliver skills for these projects due to our heritage in the maritime, oil, and gas industries, and centres of excellence such as the Offshore Renewable Energy catapult which are based in our region. However without careful planning and action to ensure we build upon these strengths, the risk could be there are not the skills to deliver these projects.
The Energi Coast Skills Group is already taking action to mitigate these risks by facilitating pioneering partnerships between education and industry; engaging with offshore wind operators, national and regional supply chain, to better understand current and future skills demand, to inform the implementation of world-leading provision which comprehensively addresses the needs of industry. The group is working closely with our communities to promote careers in the Offshore Wind sector to build a skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce to enable North East England to become the offshore wind sector skills destination, which delivers demand-led provision to enable the sector to grow and thrive.
Our advice for anyone looking to do something similar would be to set a vision for what you would like to achieve and understand the potential impact of this ambition. For the Energi Coast Skills Group that is to build a skilled workforce for the sustainable energy future of the region and support the UK to transition to net zero.
Then engage with relevant communities to understand the strength, opportunities and challenges, so you can build a plan based on robust data to deliver your vision. Be inclusive, listen and draw upon the expertise around you. We are so privileged in North East England that we have such a wealth of experience in our region and a community of experts from industry, education, and training who are motivated to work collaboratively to build a strong offshore wind industry which delivers a zero carbon future for the UK.