Fair winds ahead

September 2, 2010

The potential for up to 50,000 new jobs in the offshore wind energy sector is welcome news indeed, and it will of course require the necessary skills to fill this tremendous number of opportunities ("Profits of doom", 29 July).

Our schools, colleges and universities are indeed beginning to gear up to deliver this skilled workforce, often in partnership with the private sector. For example, Carnegie College in Fife is developing and delivering the first pilot Wind Turbine Service Technician apprenticeship programme, a qualification shaped by over a dozen companies. The first apprentices will come from two of the leading businesses in the renewable energy sector.

Close collaboration between employers, schools, colleges and universities will ensure that we not only fill the skills gaps in the renewable energy sector today, but forecast and fill the skills gaps of the future, with the necessary training and qualifications provided.

Jacqui Hepburn, Director, Alliance of Sector Skills Councils in Scotland.

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