Apr 07, 2022
A ‘theatrical’ approach to careers and innovation

Two ingredients vital to the future success of the Humber’s offshore wind and maritime sectors will be in the spotlight at OWC2022.

The conference, at The Spa Bridlington on April 27 and 28, is launching a Skills Theatre and Innovation Theatre to create a stronger focus on helping prepare for careers and to encourage companies to bring new ideas to market.

Leading businesses and organisations are involved in the two ‘theatres’ which take the format of interactive workshops and panel discussions.

Ben George of conference sponsor Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult is organising the Innovation Theatre and said that the aim was to help ‘demystify’ the concept of innovation. “It is not a mythical beast and should not be intimidating,” he said. “We will demonstrate that it’s more often about improving products and services than inventing something radically new.

“Innovation is critical if we want to stay ahead and leverage the Humber’s position as a world leader, particularly in operations and maintenance,” he added.

The Innovation Theatre will be presented by the ideas sub-group from the Humber Offshore Wind Cluster.

The Skills Theatre is being led by Iain Elliot of HETA who chairs the Team Humber Marine Alliance Maritime Skills Group, with support from Kerrie Jaquest of the Careers and Enterprise Company. Major employers and education providers are taking part along with students from regional schools and colleges.

Kerrie Jaquest said it was essential that influencers of young people were given the latest information on emerging and maturing sectors. “If we don’t educate influencers, which include careers advisors and many more, we won’t encourage a new generation, particularly with so many competing sectors to attract them.

“It’s also about learning what is specifically needed by industry. We’ll have an open dialogue about the difficulties in recruiting, and about the need for businesses to proactively engage with education providers.”

Iain Elliot said: “Given that the region is home to the largest ports complex in the UK and a big stretch of coastline, the idea was to use OWC to engage better with careers advisors and show them the broad range of opportunities there are in the offshore wind and maritime sectors. It’s excellent that so many employers are keen to be involved and we are very grateful to them.”

Businesses and organisations involved in the Skills and Innovation Theatres include headline sponsor Ørsted, ORE Catapult, RWE, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, CarnaudMetalbox Engineering, Maritime UK, HETA, Whitby Fishing School, University of Hull, University of Lincoln and HEY LEP.

Both ‘theatres’ are being held on April 28 and are open to invited guests and ticket holders. Interested parties are being asked to contact Mary Green at marygreen@thma.co.uk

For further details and to buy a conference pass, please visit www.offshorewindconnections.co.uk