East Coast Energy Internships

Champions of East of England offshore wind must invest in the industry’s future by offering work placements and internships now to secure longevity for developing wind farms. This was the message at an event in Lowestoft to celebrate Offshore Wind Week, and is one of the motivations behind the new East Coast Energy Internships which were launched this year under the expert guidance of Ogden Consultant John Best from Best Proactive. 

More than 200 “local champions” of the multi-billion-pound offshore wind industry developing off the east coast were challenged to embrace students into their organisations at the only event outside London to celebrate Offshore Wind Week. Sixth-formers, undergraduates and pre-apprentices spoke passionately from the stage at the event at OrbisEnergy, Lowestoft, organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR).

Amongst those presenting, were Joel Pointon and Richard Hindes, A-level students at Lowestoft Sixth Form College, who described their four-week summer internships organised through the East Coast Energy Internship programme.

Joel worked with the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm construction team in Lowestoft, using his maths skills to calculate fuel requirements for crew transfer vessels. Richard did his placement with Eon at the Scroby Sands wind farm, completing research on its visitor centre.

“Interns do proper projects and work alongside industry professionals. It shows some real faith that businesses are willing to go out of their way to support people like me.

“There is a massive shortage of STEM graduates. It was a vote of confidence from the companies in the area to accommodate people like us.”

John Best, who works with companies to organise internships for the scheme, established by The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Ogden Trust and Suffolk County Council in association with Waveney District Council, said:

“We placed five interns this year and we are looking to place 20 next year. It is beneficial to the employer as well as for young people. I am so proud of Joel and Richard. They completed their internships with enthusiasm and professionalism and I think they have spoken brilliantly at this conference – judging by the volume of applause following their presentation I think the audience agree!”

“For me, the day was summed up by the photograph of Richard and Joel (right) sitting alongside Toby Edmonds, Project Director for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm and Nick Gardiner, Head of Offshore Wind, Green Investment Bank. Confident and inspiring. If I had to title the photograph it would be: ‘Industry Leaders, Current and Future’.”