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Two engineers working at Rampion offshore wind farm

UK pilots first offshore wind sector recruitment programme across East Anglia and Lincolnshire


A new pilot is being launched in East Anglia and Lincolnshire to help generate greater awareness of career opportunities in, and help tackle workforce challenges facing, the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector.

The programme, which is being launched by The Crown Estate in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Offshore Wind Learning platform, is designed to help the industry meet the forecasted need to fill 70,000 roles by 2030, by upskilling and empowering work coaches from the DWP to signpost their customers to the growing number of career opportunities available in the local offshore wind industry.

As home to half of the UK’s existing offshore wind farms, the programme is being piloted in the east of England to create a blueprint for what could lead to a national roll-out and to ensure local communities feel the benefits of the transition to more renewable energy.

The offshore wind sector is set to play a vital role in the UK’s ability to transition to a net zero economy by 2050. However, it faces a number of challenges to fill the required roles for the delivery of this ambition.

In a report published by Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) last year, it stated that an additional 70,000 jobs would be needed by the end of the decade, an average of 10,000 jobs per year, to support the upcoming pipeline of offshore work. The offshore wind industry currently employs 32,000 people.

Focus groups carried out with local work coaches from the DWP [AF1] in November 2023 also highlighted the challenges offshore wind employers face regarding perceptions of pathways into the industry. For example, many work coaches expressed an awareness of direct roles within the sector – like turbine technicians and working offshore – but were less aware of crucial indirect roles available within the industry, such as roles within administration, customer service and the supply chain.

These focus groups highlighted the need for a “train the trainer” model, working to upskill the work coaches to improve their knowledge and confidence talking about the offshore wind industry, and ultimately, placing customers from their local communities in relevant roles.

The pilot launched today will help to tackle these challenges by providing DWP work coaches with insights and training to greater understand the jobs and skills required in offshore wind sector and to help pass these insights onto their customers.

The programme will initially focus on the East Anglia and Lincolnshire coastlines, involving ten job centres across both regions. These are in: Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Gainsborough, Lowestoft, Beccles, Lincoln, Louth, Skegness, Boston and Spalding.

Judith Everett, Executive Director of Purpose, Sustainability & Stakeholder at The Crown Estate said: “We’re thrilled to launch this new pilot programme raising awareness of the many exciting offshore wind career opportunities in East Anglia and Lincolnshire. Though the UK is a global leader in offshore wind, the industry faces workforce challenges which must be addressed urgently to ensure the sector remains competitive in the face of international competition. Through the important work carried out by coaches in the Department for Work and Pensions, this initiative will shine a spotlight on the local employment opportunities within the offshore wind industry and help to build thriving, resilient communities who feel part of the UK’s energy transition.”

Susan Falch-Lovesey at Equinor said: “At Equinor we’re excited to be a part of this one-of-a-kind programme working to highlight the myriad of roles that exist within our industry and upskill DWP work coaches to place people in those roles. This programme will help the UK’s offshore wind sector foster sustainable growth, whilst also contributing to a more just transition to net zero.”

Lauren Little at Orsted said: “It’s fantastic to see big players in the industry come together and highlight the need for talent to enter the OSW industry. This programme is perfectly suited to highlight the variety of roles within our industry– from technicians working on turbines to behind-the-scenes employees in administrative and support roles.”

The training provided to DWP work coaches will involve a combination of in-person and virtual training sessions, with an initial workshop (the first of four) taking place in Peterborough on Thursday 25th April.

This first workshop will introduce the sector and feature inspiring stories from offshore wind workers and industry leaders alike.

Roger Matthews, Senior Group Employer and Partnership Lead for the DWP said: “The Department for Work and Pensions is immensely proud to be partnering with The Crown Estate.” Adding that “the OSW industry is vital to the UK’s efforts to transition to net zero, this programme will allow us to equip DWP work coaches withinsights and targeted training to drive growth in this valuable sector.”