A consortium comprised of Ørsted, Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy have announced a tie-up with Energy Skills Partnership Scotland (ESP) to help provide the workforce required to construct floating wind farms in Scotland.
The partnership follows the consortium of developers submission of two joint bids to deliver floating wind farms as part of the upcoming ScotWind offshore lease round.
ESP was established as a collaboration between Scotland’s colleges and partners from industry, aimed at increasing Scotland’s ability to deliver the skills required by the energy, engineering and construction sectors.
In a statement, the group said the deal with ESP will also develop programmes to re-skill the existing workforce, offering new opportunities to anyone keen to retrain.
ESP director Jim Brown noted that Scotland’s colleges have supported the wind sector for over ten years, having piloted the first apprenticeship programme for the UK and trained hundreds of turbine technicians.
“This activity has accelerated over recent years driven by offshore wind developments and our Wind Training Network expanding to 10 member colleges informed by discussions with industry,” he added.
“We are delighted to be part of this collaboration that will maximise the job opportunities in Scotland and ensure industry’s skills needs are met.”
BlueFloat said its work with the partnership would include at developing training in areas such as advanced manufacturing and hydrogen-related studies which would assist future projects and maximise the benefits of floating wind to Scotland.
CEO Carlos Martin added: “We are keen to share our expertise in delivering floating wind with local stakeholders to ensure they can benefit fully from the opportunity that it presents.”
Ørsted head of region Duncan Clark noted that the partnership with ESP would offer young people a choice of college courses which are tailored to fully equip them for a career in the offshore wind industry, “boosting the economy and reinforcing Scotland’s position at the forefront of renewable technology.”
Falck Renewables wind managing director Richard Dibley also commented: “Scotland has an excellent track record of developing and providing specialised training as it did so successfully with oil and gas. Working in partnership with Scotland’s colleges through ESP will help ensure we have a fully trained workforce ready for construction to begin.”
The consortium’s latest efforts on skills follow other commitments made as part of its ScotWind bids. Last month the group also announced a pledge to team up with marine scientists to study the environmental impacts of floating turbines.