Honour for energy skills ambassador

ENERGY skills “ambassador” Celia Anderson, executive director of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) and leader of the Skills for Energy Programme, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by UCS Lowestoft, part of University Campus Suffolk.?

The honour highlights both the progress achieved so far in delivering the skilled workforce the region’s energy sector will need to achieve its potential, and the work which remains to be done.

Last month saw the launch of an MSc course in energy engineering at the University of East Anglia where BEng and MEng options will start in 2013, and 16 students have just started an Energy Skills Foundation Programme at Lowestoft College.

It?s the second intake of a scheme pioneered through the Skills for Energy Partnership and is now to be rolled out at other colleges and potentially across the UK. All but one of the initial cohort are now in employment or further education/apprenticeships.

Her encouragement of Forces4Energy has prompted many ex-service personnel to hone their skills to the needs of the civilian engineering sector, and by the end of this year she expects to name the site for a new flagship “EPISCentre” building to become a dedicated hub for energy sector-related skills.

“We?ve come a long way in the three years since I arrived,”? said Celia. “The UCS award is great recognition and a tribute not just to my individual work but to the tremendous support and co-operation across the private, public and academic sectors.

“The East of England is on the threshold of one of the biggest economic booms in its history but unless we can deliver enough people with the skills and expertise to do the work the region could miss out on billions of pounds of potential investment and wealth.We’re on the right road but we need to gather pace now,” she added.