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Join the green industrial revolution!

Submitted by on 07 Jun 2011 – 12:57

The UK environmental goods and services sector currently represents a £100 billion market. By 2020 it is anticipated that this ‘green’ market will be worth in excess of £150 billion. A significant part of this growth will come from renewable energy sources, in particular wind power, as the UK seeks to meet targets of 15% of energy from renewables by 2020. This growth will be accompanied by a huge expansion in the number of people working in the ‘green’ economy, creating many exciting new roles for new starters and experienced workers alike.

Siemens, the ‘green infrastructure pioneer’ is leading the way with its environmental technology portfolio and plays an active role in developing and nurturing talent to meet the needs of the ‘green industrial revolution’. The company has invested heavily in training and skills, including an £8 million investment in its Integrated Energy Service Training Centre in Newcastle, which includes a dedicated wind power training school for service technicians, and an apprenticeship programme. Siemens believes these are exciting times to be working in the renewables sector. This view is echoed by its employees, many of whom have decided to transfer to ‘green’ engineering roles within the company. In the words of one of Siemens employees, “we are saving the planet, one wind turbine at a time.”

Green jobs:

The training centre manager: Steve Green

Steve Green made a life-changing career switch from a banking job in the City of London moving to the wind power training sector within Siemens. He now manages all technical and safety training delivery at Siemens Wind Power Training centre in Newcastle, including marine sea survival and helicopter underwater escape. Since becoming Training Manager for the Wind Power Centre Steve has already built a specialist teaching team that provides technical and safety courses to Siemens’ technicians across the UK and Europe. Steve thinks that this is a fantastic time to be part of the growing and forward-looking wind power sector.

The technical training instructor: Mark Champney

Mark spent seven years in the Royal Engineers, including time towards the end of his army career as Training Regiment Instructor training new recruits. Mark now trains technicians in turbine safety, turbine construction and turbine blade tension and is also learning to become an instructor in basic electric and hydraulic principles.

Working onsite at offshore wind farms, offers certain parallels for services leavers entering the wind power industry. Mark has travelled to Siemens’ sites across Scotland, Ireland and Denmark, where technicians are often required to work away from home for long spells and in a tight-knit team responsible for each other’s safety. Mark draws parallels with the team and safety culture in Siemens and the one he experienced in his previous life, “there is a real sense of mutual dependency and appreciation of the importance of best practice in all procedures, but especially safety,” Mark says. “Few other jobs outside of the armed forces could offer the sense of adventure.”

The graduate: Feichin McCormack

Feichin McCormack is part of the new generation of Wind Power Service Engineers set to change the future of energy generation.  With no two days the same, Feichin travels across the country to Siemens onshore and offshore Wind Farms supporting some of the 400 wind turbine technicians in the annual servicing of some of Siemens’ 7,000 wind turbines.

Feichin’s recent work has taken him to Scotland’s Whitelee Wind Farm, the largest onshore wind farm in Europe, home to 140 wind turbines generating enough kinetic energy to power 180,000 homes.