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North East to share in £1 Million investment to help young people prepare for a net zero world

Posted on 18 June 2021

North East to share in £1 Million investment to help young people prepare for a net zero world
  • Students in South Tyneside to benefit from investment package
  • The money will be invested during the construction of the wind farm and will be focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning
  • The programme will reach out to more than 18 schools in the North East of England, and support more than 14,000 young people
  • 50 scholarships for pupils in North East of England and East Riding studying science, technology, engineering and maths subjects to support the cost of further education
  • Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan hails investment as “innovative” way of supporting coastal communities.

18 June 2021: Young people in the North East of England are set to share in a £1 million investment during the construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm to prepare them for working life in a net zero world.

In a programme developed in partnership with local authorities in the North and North East of England, the wind farm will put science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), at the heart of children’s education, to help them prepare for the jobs that will be vital to the green economic recovery of the UK.

Additional community funding will be allocated throughout the operational phase of the windfarm. This construction fund will initially focus on the areas of East Riding of Yorkshire, where the windfarm will connect to the National Grid, and South Tyneside, where the Operation and Maintenance Base will be located.

All 18 secondary schools in South Tyneside will have the chance to increase and expand their current science, technology, engineering and maths provision. The programme in South Tyneside will focus on the primary to secondary school transition, with specialist training provided to enhance the skills and experience of teachers. The funding will also be used to enhance careers services for school leavers. Careers services are particularly important for young people who have had their face-to-face learning interrupted by the pandemic.

Plans are still being drawn up for how the programme will support youngsters in the Redcar and Cleveland area, where the third phase of the wind farm will connect to the National Grid at Lackenby. These will be confirmed when the third phase, Dogger Bank C, reaches its final investment decision later this year.

In addition to enhancing STEM provision in the classroom, 50 students from the north-east of England and East Riding of Yorkshire will receive a scholarship to help with the cost of further education qualifications while studying STEM subjects. 

The £1 million investment also includes an Operators Fund to support other local causes to the value of up to £500. Community projects and local organisations in South Tyneside will be able to apply at www.doggerbank.com/about/community/

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm STEM investment is one of the largest commitments to skills ever made by the offshore wind sector.

In addition to this STEM fund, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will invest £13.5 million in the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership during its lifetime, a programme set up to support the growth of the UK offshore wind supply chain. Furthermore, 50% of the wind farm’s rental payments to the Crown Estate will support the

Coastal Communities Fund, a UK Government-funded initiative to support the economic  growth of coastal areas. Under the current arrangement the funds received by the Coastal Communities Fund will equate to 1% of the wind farm’s gross revenue, which could amount to tens of millions of pounds being invested in coastal communities during the operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Gillian Keegan, said:

“As we recover from the pandemic, we’re investing billions of pounds to help the UK become a global leader in green technologies. This includes the creation of up to 250,000 jobs by 2030 through our Ten Point Plan, which will be critical in delivering a green industrial revolution. It’s fantastic to see the developers of Dogger Bank Wind Farm supporting this by investing in science, technology, engineering and maths skills. Not only is the world’s largest offshore wind farm pioneering new technology, it is also innovating in the way it’s supporting coastal communities to ensure young people are equipped to access the green jobs of the future.”

MP for South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck, said:

“This is such an exciting opportunity for our young people to learn and enhance STEM skills that will equip them and put them at the forefront of skilled jobs in the green economy. I want to thank the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project’s continued investment and commitment to our community, wider region and people. “  

Cllr Mark Walsh, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy at South Tyneside Council, said:

“This is fantastic news and will help ensure that young people in the borough are equipped with the skills to unlock the potential of STEM opportunities here in the North East and support green industry.

“Nurturing a well-qualified, adaptable workforce is a priority for us, and key to that is making sure young people understand how they can build sustainable careers.

“This is why we are committed to engaging with youngsters via schools and employers and this funding will allow us to deliver an events programme and practical opportunities to develop their own skills and knowledge.”

Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, said:

“Over the last few years Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have developed a reputation second to none as a powerhouse for clean technology. Not only are we playing a critical role in the manufacturing of offshore windfarm turbines, Dogger Bank C will meet landfall in Redcar. As home to the UK’s biggest freeport, thousands of good-quality, well paid jobs will be created across my region in the green industries of the future. I look forward to working with the developers of Dogger Bank Wind farm so that young people in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities we are creating for local people in clean green industries.”

Steve Wilson, Project Director from Dogger Bank Wind Farm said:

“We are proud that alongside the jobs and supply chain investments we’ve already attracted to these local economies, we can also help make a real difference to the lives of people in our local communities with this innovative package of support.

“We estimate more than 14,000 young people from at least 18 schools in the north-east of England will benefit from this funding, as we open their eyes to the green industry opportunities of our net zero future.

“Renewable energy will increasingly become a source of skilled jobs in the UK as we come through the pandemic, and rebuild our economy. This is one of the most significant investments the offshore wind industry has made in future skills, and could be the key to unlocking the future potential of many young people, as we put STEM skills at the very heart of their learning.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be located more than 130 km off the Yorkshire coast and will generate enough renewable energy to power six million UK homes. A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni, SSE Renewables is leading on Dogger Bank construction and delivery while Equinor will operate the wind farm for its lifetime, from a new base to be constructed at Port of Tyne.

Work is already underway on the first two phases of the development in East Riding to prepare the 30km cable route from Ulrome to Creyke Beck Substation, near Beverley.

The number of UK jobs created or supported through the construction and operation of the wind farm has so far reached almost 3,000. The vast majority will be based in the north-east of England where GE will locate its blade factory for the Haliade-X turbine, and where the Operation & Maintenance base will be located at Port of Tyne.