European funding boost to unlock future skills
Published on 4th September 2012
As a part of a 1.7 million pound project, Waveney will receive over 340,000 pounds to help identify the training and skills local people will require to work in the offshore wind industry.
The 'Building European Environmental Maritime Skills' (BEEMS) Project is being led by Southampton City Council and will be delivered over two years by a UK/French partnership of regional and local authorities, industry associations, educational institutions and training providers. Waveney are one of four UK councils involved in the project and are the only local authority in an East of England partnership which includes Marine East, Lowestoft College and the East of England Energy Group (EEEGr).
The investment will provide Waveney and partners with further resources to compete in the growing marine renewable energy market. BEEMS will ensure that local people get the necessary skills they need to work in this rapidly expanding industry - which is projected to create around 47,200 new jobs in the UK in sectors like wind farming.
Cllr Bruce Provan, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism and Economic Development said: "Working with partners from the Solent region and Northern France this project will really help to ensure that Waveney creates a workforce with the skills to place us at the forefront of the offshore wind industry. The Funding will also help local small to medium businesses to play a part in the supply chain and I am delighted that the hard work which went in to this project is paying off."
Southampton City Council and its UK/French partners raised £830,955 which has been match funded by the EU through their "Interreg IVA France (Channel) England Programme".
The funding was agreed at a summit of French and UK local authorities hosted by Suffolk County Council at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich. Councillor Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for economic development, welcomed the funding.
She said: "This is excellent news. The growth of the renewable energy industry in Suffolk means there are - and will be - a great number of apprenticeship and job opportunities for local people. But for Suffolk to really capitalise on that opportunity, we need to make sure people have the right skills. Suffolk is increasingly leading the way in green energy production and I'm confident that this new funding will help us do even more."
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