Councillor John McCabe, Mayor of South Tyneside with Equinor's work experience students from Whitburn Church of England Academy and one from George Stephenson High

Equinor Working with Students to Help Them Explore Career Opportunities

South Tyneside Pledge organisation Equinor are working with young people in South Tyneside and beyond to help them explore exciting new career opportunities and open their eyes to what a career working in offshore renewables may be like.

Five students spent a week with Equinor at the Dogger Bank Wind Farm Operations and Maintenance base at Port of Tyne. The students, four from Whitburn Church of England Academy and one from George Stephenson High, spent the week attending events and workshops, including a visit to South Shields Town Hall and meeting local dignitaries.

Tom NightingaleEquinor’s North East Stakeholder Manager, said:

“We have a number of commitments towards skills in our supply chain plan, but this work experience is something we were keen to introduce, helping us go over and above our commitment and really just provide a great experience to the next generation. 

“Offshore wind is helping the UK on a journey towards a greener future and there are so many opportunities for the energy supply chain, local businesses and new start-ups. Working with the council is helping promote opportunities in green growth that can have a long term benefit for South Tyneside residents.”

Councillor John McCabe, Mayor of South Tyneside with Tom Nightingale, Stakeholder Manager for Equinor, and Chloe Richardson, Production Engineer from GE Renewable Energy with work experience students from Whitburn Church of England Academy and one from George Stephenson High
Councillor John McCabe, Mayor of South Tyneside with Tom Nightingale, Stakeholder Manager for Equinor, and Chloe Richardson, Production Engineer from GE Vernova with work experience students from Whitburn Church of England Academy and one from George Stephenson High

Dogger Bank Wind Farm O&M base on Tyneside offers an incredible opportunity to the local community, with the Tyne being one of the closest rivers to what will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world. When at full capacity, it will supply 5% of the UK’s electricity demand.

The UK Government plans for offshore wind to produce 50GW of energy by 2030, increasing the previous target from 40GW through the British Energy Security Strategy last April.

Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor John McCabe, said: 

“It was wonderful to meet the students during their visit to South Shields Town Hall.

“Through the Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project, Equinor will be creating jobs in South Tyneside for years to come, so it is important that young people know about these opportunities and can see what a career in the offshore industry entails. 

“Work experience is important across all sectors and career paths and is one of the key areas that South Tyneside Pledge organisations are supporting the Council with. It would be great to see more organisations signing the pledge and committing to supporting careers programmes in the borough.”

The South Tyneside Pledge is for all organisations in South Tyneside, big or small, public or private to commit to small steps to boost the local economy and reduce health inequality. The Council is hoping that more companies will sign-up to create work experience opportunities for young people in the borough.

George Stephenson student, Joshua Blake, said:

“I am a huge believer and advocate for renewable energy, and have learned this week that the transition from oil and gas dependency is not simple and will take a great deal of time and planning. It’s essential we transition to cleaner energy and companies like Equinor are doing a fantastic job.

“My highlight was visiting South Tyneside Council and speaking to the Mayor. It was interesting to see how they have close links to North Tyneside Council and how they work closely with Equinor and other energy companies working towards a sustainable future.”

Gabby Smithies, from Whitburn Academy said:

“Work experience shows young adults the possibilities that exist within South Tyneside and the North East in so many different, new and innovative companies and sectors. My work experience at Equinor has opened a new industry up to me – one that I wouldn’t have thought would be available to me without this placement.

“It has been enlightening. The range of activities is wide-spanning and interesting – from networking events and marketing, tours of emergency survival facilities to the Little Inventors exhibition. There’s never a boring moment.”

Through collaboration with businesses, South Tyneside Council aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and networks to pursue rewarding careers in flourishing industries, benefiting not only the individual but also the company and further contribute to the growth and sustainability of the offshore renewables sector, playing such a vital role in the UK’s transition to a greener and more sustainable future.

Tom added:

“Equinor is focused on delivering skills initiatives for all age groups and supporting young people through all stages of their learning journey. Work experience is a great opportunity for us to support the local community, providing a taster of a career in offshore wind, and we get just as much benefit and enjoyment from it as the students.”

South Tyneside Council can facilitate all engagement with local schools and link Pledge organisations with relevant opportunities. Please contact Alex.whelan@southtyneside.gov.uk

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