Last week I participated in a brilliant event run by our colleagues in CIPD Humberside. About a year ago chair Chris Brown an apprentice trained fitter and later head of L&D at Hull City Council, had the idea that the CIPD Networks should get involved in some way with the regions new opportunity as the North of England’s Wind Energy powerhouse. The renewables energy is focusing on Humberside as its epicentre. They want Hull to become the Aberdeen in that it becomes a hub for the offshore wind sector. So, was born Transforming the Humber. Chris buttonholed me at CIPD Council Last Spring to support with insight from Scotland and I agreed. CIPD used its discretionary funding mechanism to support a strong business case for what turned out to be a strong business conference. People and development were right at the centre and our brand was right up there. Great contributions from Siemens project Chief Finbarr Dowling, and HRD for Siemens energy Mike Jones, introduced everyone to the myriad jobs and skills opportunities around renewables. The scale and scope of the opportunity for Scotland and Humberside is mind boggling. One nacelle (the housing in which the blades turn is the weight of 40 African elephants). You need a massive range of skills and expertise and with construction, installation and support its very similar to the Offshore Oil and Gas industry. The field being built at Dogger bank (of shipping forecast fame) and will generate enough electricity to power a large town. Siemens are at the spearhead of this investment creating 1000 jobs, building blades in a purpose built factory. But the potential for the industry is enormous. Chris and the team asked skills agencies, universities and colleges, local economic development people and local authorities to turn up and they did. They also got a welcome statement form Energy Minister Amber Rudd and local MP Alan Jonhson prominently displayed on the day. I talked about the context of Scottish offshore energy and renewables and the challenges of the electricity regulation deal which has affected Scotland’s on shore wind sector. I used our Scotland’s Skilled Future approach to position the skills and labour market challenges. Chris and Ian form the Branch ably chaired and the whole branch were involved in making it happen. I was also able to highlight CIPD’s great research on Ageing with ILC and our forthcoming Productivity research. as well as our Valuing Your Talent research. I was also able to position our learning to Work programme and senior HRD/L&D networks, which were of great interest. I took a lot back in terms of contacts and insight which fit with our work in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We also heard from top entrepreneur Paul Sewell who shared his unique insight into management and his ready wit. With stringent new regulations on carbon emissions in the pipeline, whole energy firms declaring carbon free future powering our lives with renewables is going to power our labour market in Scotland and elsewhere. This conference was a preview of the opportunities available. Well done to Chris and the Humber team.
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