Powering your future: How offshore wind creates onshore jobs

Gibb Safety & Survival warehouse interior Great Yarmouth

Gibb Safety & Survival's new service and distribution hub in Great Yarmouth has created fresh jobs in the area - Credit: Gibb Group

This week, we will be running a series of "Powering Your Future" stories focused on the fantastic career opportunities in East Anglia's exciting offshore wind industry. Here we speak to Gibb Safety & Survival about why a strong local supply chain is essential for offshore wind operations – and that means more jobs in East Anglia.

The development of ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE windfarm and the expansion of offshore energy along the East Anglian coast is good news not only for the energy sector, but also for the supply chain that supports it. As activity in the seas around the ports increases, jobs are created onshore at the firms working with developers – companies like Gibb Safety & Survival. 

Gibb Safety & Survival – along with Gibb Tools & Supplies – have been supplying PPE and maintenance, repair and operation equipment to the energy sector for more than 70 years. It will supply the PPE for workers on the East Anglia ONE project, including protective clothing and working at height apparatus, as well as the rescue, survival and marine equipment gear needed for safely working offshore.

“We have been fortunate to work with some exceptional local suppliers on the East Anglia ONE project and Gibb Safety & Survival is another example of just how strong the supply chain is in this area,” said Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE project director at ScottishPower Renewables. The company has already committed £70 million to local suppliers delivering works across the East of England.

Offshore survival equipment

The Great Yarmouth hub has a huge range of PPE and survival equipment - Credit: Gibb Group

Gibb will also be maintaining and managing the PPE – working both offshore and in the company’s new £2 million state-of-the-art service and distribution hub in Great Yarmouth. 

Twelve new members of staff were recruited for the hub, as well as two new apprentices: 18-year-old Scott Binze and 16-year-old Tyler Morse. They’ve been with the company for two months. 

“I’ve already learnt a lot,” says Scott. Tyler agrees: “The work’s really engaging and we’re always busy.”

Warehouse worker supply chain

Gibb apprentice Scott Binze is one of the local people taken to support the Anglia ONE supply chain - Credit: Gibb Group

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“As a business, we really believe in apprenticeships,” says Gibb’s director Terry Simmons. “They give the business what it needs and they can really work for the young people – especially those who don’t want to go down the academic route after school.”

The apprentices start in the warehouse, gradually expanding the areas they work in. “Our apprenticeship scheme is essentially teaching them about how the supply chain works – and as we’ve seen, supply chain drives everything,” says Terry.

“It’s a good career path and there are plenty of opportunities to move on within our business – whether into procurement, operations, sales, IT or another department. Or to another business,” he adds. 

“We know we can’t hold onto everyone but it’s a compliment when our apprentices are sought by other businesses. If you lose someone to a good company, it’s a sign that you’re seen as a breeding ground for talent.”

ScottishPower Renewables will be launching a new apprentice recruitment drive in the coming weeks. To register interest please visit: www.scottishpower.com/offshore or email: offshorewindskills@scottishpower.com

Front cover of the Powering Your Future supplement

Powering Your Future: How offshore wind is creating new careers in East Anglia - Credit: Archant

Find out more about getting your foot in the door and helping generate the clean green energy we all need for a greener, zero-carbon future that will benefit future generations for years to come in the Powering Your Future supplement, produced in partnership with ScottishPower Renewables.