A member of Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK’s senior leadership team has hailed the benefits of apprenticeships for building sustainable businesses at an event held to coincide with COP 26 in Glasgow.
Garod Evans, contracts director, spoke at the forum organised by industry bodies Renewable UK and Energy UK, which looked at how the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project is helping grow the regional economy of the North East of England and beyond.
Other panellists included Andrew Duncan of North Star Renewables, Mark Sidwell of Granada Material Handling, Lindsay Dougan from SSE, and Andrew Holden from GE Renewable Energy, with the discussion chaired by Steve Wilson, project director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm itself.
According to Garod, the offshore wind farm, which will be the world’s largest, has directly helped Jones Bros invest in 40 apprentices who will be able to transfer over to other renewables work in future.
Jones Bros has been working within renewables for more than a decade. Its involvement with Dogger Bank phases A and B includes laying 32km of high voltage cabling underground, which will form part of the connection for the offshore turbines, running from the shoreline to the National Grid near Hull.
The firm was also appointed to carry out enabling works for Dogger Bank C and Sofia wind farms, which will share a site for their converter stations near Redcar.
Garod said: “There was a huge buzz around Glasgow while COP 26 was going on, and it was an honour to be involved because of our work in renewable energy.
“Projects like Dogger Bank give us a real opportunity to contribute to local economies throughout the UK. While we have 160 staff of our own on site, many of whom are from nearby, we also have a similar number of sub-contractors from the area as well.
“This covers a wide variety of individuals, from security or catering through to highly specialised engineering work such as horizontal directional drilling.
“The scheme has also enabled us to support apprenticeships, with individuals recruited from nearby towns like Driffield as well as nationally.
“Around 15 per cent of the employees we have on site are current apprentices, and as a result of our involvement, they’re able to learn new skills, gain valuable qualifications and develop enduring careers as well as contribute directly to the drive to cut our reliance on fossil fuels.”
Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40 per cent), Equinor (40 per cent) and Eni (20 per cent), while Dogger Bank C is a 50:50 joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor. Sofia Offshore Wind Farm is 100 per cent owned by RWE.
You can view the livestream of the event here