By Stuart Barnes, Head of Government Relations and Public Affairs at ORE Catapult
The UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda is focused on improving the economic opportunities and quality of life for people across all the regions in the UK, especially those who feel they have historically been left behind. More than most, the offshore renewable energy industry is closely aligned with this agenda and has the potential to make a significant impact in support of Levelling Up.
The offshore renewable energy industry is growing rapidly, with the UK Government targeting 30% of the country’s electricity to be generated from offshore wind by 2030. This presents a unique opportunity for the UK to create new jobs and drive economic growth in regions that have traditionally relied on industries such as manufacturing, ship building, and fishing, which have faced decades of industrial decline.
To realise the full potential of this opportunity, it is crucial that the UK has a highly skilled workforce armed with the tools needed to adapt to the evolving economic and technological landscape linked to offshore renewable energy. This means investing in skills to identify gaps that exist and make it easier for people transition into the sector from other industries, such as oil and gas. The net zero deadline is fast approaching, and to play its part in delivering this, the offshore renewable energy sector needs to increase its UK workforce from the current figure of 30,000, to 100,000 by 2030.
Government and industry must work together to reach this goal and one way to do this is through apprenticeships and other training programmes that provide workers with the skills they need to thrive in the offshore renewable energy industry. These programmes not only provide workers with the technical knowledge and expertise they need, but also the soft skills that are essential for success in any industry.
ORE Catapult is supporting a new generation of people with skills in offshore renewables by educating young people about the importance and value of STEM subjects. We work in partnership with Levenmouth Academy on the east coast of Scotland where we directly support STEM provision. We have funded a STEM teacher to deliver extensive robotics, drone, and programme classes for the students to inspire them to take up a career in offshore renewable energy in the future. You can find out more about our STEM work here (link to the Levenmouth case study).
The UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda presents a unique opportunity to drive economic growth. By investing in skills development and infrastructure, the offshore renewable energy industry has the potential to play a key role in delivering on this ambitious agenda.
Find out more about how ORE Catapult helps to drive skills growth in the offshore renewable energy industry throughout the supply chain at https://ore.catapult.org.uk/spotlightsupplychain/