As the UK celebrates Wind Week, ScottishPower Renewables is announcing the appointment of its first-ever offshore wind apprentices.
Talented locals, 18-year-old Jovita Beeston from Norwich and 17-year-old Hope Reynolds from Lowestoft, secured the roles after a rigorous selection process. The two mechatronics maintenance apprentice technicians are now hard at work on their three-year apprenticeship programme, which will see them working 30 miles off the Suffolk coast on the recently completed East Anglia ONE windfarm.
During the three-year programme, Jovita and Hope will receive on the job learning and unique work experience opportunities, which will bring classroom studies, such as programming and mechanical assembly, to life. The first stage of their study programme is focused on college learning, where they are the only two women on the course.
Jovita was inspired to join the ScottishPower Renewables programme after studying engineering at college as well as gaining practical work experience in the offshore wind sector. She said: “I not only really enjoyed the experience of working in the offshore industry – I was also really fascinated about the impact of renewable energy and how it was growing as a key sector for the country. It’s so big now and I want to see how it develops and play my part in creating a green future.”
Hope was excited about the opportunities the industry offers for a long-term career and the chance to do something different. She said: “Having seen how much other people enjoy working in the industry and the real variety it offers in terms of job roles and career progression, I knew this was for me. It’s really exciting to get started and know that what we’ll be doing will be helping create a brighter and better future for everyone.”
Steven Hodger, principal site manager for East Anglia ONE at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “This is a really exciting time to be joining the offshore wind sector as it offers so many great career opportunities for young people. We received a fantastic response to our apprentice recruitment drive with over 150 quality applications. Over two-thirds of applicants were from the region including several women applicants – an encouraging response to our work to attract more women and local people into the industry.
“These roles are at the very heart of the UK’s net-zero ambition as well as the green economic recovery. We’re delighted to welcome Jovita and Hope into the East Anglia ONE team and I look forward to watching them carve out a successful career in such a clean, green, growing industry.”
Both apprentices are very excited about getting the chance to go offshore – which will be in 2021 – but know there’s a lot of hard work ahead.
Jovita added: “It’s going to be a really intense programme, but I’m relishing the chance to show what I’ve got to offer. My family are really impressed by what I’m doing and can see just how much I’m enjoying it already. I would definitely encourage other young people to get into this industry as they will go places.”
Hope said: “It’s a great feeling to be here and know this is the start of something really big and really amazing. My mum, dad and family have never been so proud of me. I’m excited to get going, give it my all and get my career in the renewables industry underway.”
Thanks to East Anglia ONE and the offshore wind sector, East Anglia is a major centre for renewable energy. It will play an increasing part in contributing to the UK’s net-zero target by 2050 as new windfarm initiatives such as the East Anglia Hub are developed. Bringing significant benefits to the local economy, regional job market and wider supply chain, ScottishPower Renewables has placed East Anglia at the core of an ambitious skills strategy, engaging almost 5,000 people with STEM through its primary skills post-education training, secondary school education training and INWED (International Women in Engineering Day) activity.
ScottishPower Renewables has recruited 14 new graduates over the past two years and, through circa £80,000 sponsorship of the Offshore Wind Skills Centre, ScottishPower Renewables has secured places for 26 individuals to participate in crucial introductory and transition training courses for those looking to start a career in offshore wind.