Skills and Training Needs Analysis: Marine Energy Executive Summary

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1 Skills and Training Needs Analysis: Marine Energy Executive Summary Gareth Potter February 2014

2 1 1. Introduction The UK has the best marine energy resource in the European Union, which is predicted to be worth up to 6.1 billion to the annual UK economy by 2035, creating nearly 20,000 jobs. This opportunity can only be unlocked through the development and provision of the necessary skills and training. Photo 1: LCRI Marine s Cardiff University and Swansea University Research Vessels, operating in Pembrokeshire waters This skills and training needs analysis (STNA) examines the training that can be provided from the LCRI Marine project into the different supply chain disciplines that comprise the marine energy workforce in Wales. It investigates the current and prospective skills of the workforce, its training needs, interest in proposed training courses and determines the best delivery method for the training that can be delivered by Welsh Energy Sector Training (WEST). LCRI Marine is a collaboration of all the leading academic marine institutions in Wales, with the aim of helping to enable, support and build a sustainable marine energy sector in Wales. The LCRI Marine theme can deliver training from the research activities of its four work packages; implementation, far field modelling, near field modelling and data collection. These work packages have been developed in consultation with the marine energy industry in Wales, to provide the essential research which is needed to de risk marine energy projects and thus move the industry forward. Dissemination of this research to industry through this project is a key action required to support the move towards delivery of the sectors economic potential for Wales and the UK. 2. Findings Welsh Government has predicted that a high growth scenario comprising 1GW of marine energy capacity (250MW of wave and 750MW of tidal energy) would provide 840m of Gross Value Added and 440 Full Time Equivalent jobs over the next 20 years. This scenario however does not include tidal range projects such as lagoons or barrages, which would significantly increase these economic indicators (Regeneris Consulting and the Welsh Economy Research Unit, 2013b).

3 2 Research commissioned by Welsh Government has highlighted a concern that the Welsh workforce, renewable industry and the Welsh economy is at risk of not capitalising on the opportunity for reasons including skill gaps and also gaps in the current training provision. To address this concern Welsh Government has stated in its three key policy document (Welsh Government, 2009), (Welsh Government, 2010), (Welsh Government, 2012) that it will gear up training providers to deliver a future marine energy workforce. Photo 2: Wales has over 1200km of coastline available to harness the marine energy resource in Wales. Image courtesy of Tom Luddington / Marine Energy Pembrokeshire The findings of this STNA have determined that priority should be given to training the professional consultancy within the marine energy supply chain. This category showed the most interest in the training themes during the consultation, and is the category most engaged through the LCRI Marine project. From consultation with relevant agents and similar projects, it can be shown that there are no current initiatives similar to WEST, which could conflict with its delivery. It has also been found that there is no training provision for a bespoke marine engineering or marine renewable energy course at Higher Education (HE) level (first year of degree to masters), within Wales. The number and quality of marine engineering courses offered at HE level throughout the UK is; however, very good, which reflects the UK s historic expertise in maritime and offshore engineering. Swansea University recognises the lack of training within Wales, and is proposing an MSc in Marine Engineering and Marine Renewable Energy to address this gap in training which will commence in Sept 2014 / The results of this research have also demonstrated that training delivery should incorporate e learning as part of a blended approach, which is widely considered as the optimised route for knowledge development.

4 3 3. Conclusions 3.1. Training needs that WEST will address immediate provision The information provided though the LCRI Marine research has successfully identified 11 potential training themes from its four work package areas, which could be created into WEST training modules. From the STNA research undertaken, it has been demonstrated that the demands of industry and therefore the WEST priority needs for training courses are: Design of Tidal Marine Renewable Energy devices (1 credit module) Design of Wave Marine Renewable Energy devices (1 credit module) (Wind), wave and tidal energy devices (10 credit module) (Wind), wave and tidal energy project (10 credit module) Figure 1: An example of LCRI Marine research into the tidal energy potential at Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire The 10 credit modules above will then become embedded within the proposed MSc in Marine Renewable Energy at Swansea University, the first of its kind in Wales, and will continue to be delivered to students in Wales as a legacy of the WEST project Training needs that WEST could address future provision Throughout the early stages of the WEST project, there will be no marine energy devices operating within Welsh waters. Wales first marine energy demonstrator device; DeltaStream is however due to undertake sea trials and deployment in the summer of 2014, in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire. Following on from this milestone, there are a significant number of other marine energy projects in planning for 2015 and beyond, including the World s first tidal stream array project on Anglesey (refer to Photo 3) and the World s first purpose built tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay (refer to Figure 2).

5 4 Photo 3: Marine Current Turbines SeaGen tidal turbine device, the World s first commercial tidal turbine at Strangford Lough, Ireland. The next generation device will be installed at the World s first tidal array on Anglesey Photo 4: A cross section of the turbine housing structure for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project A WEST succession project would therefore play a crucial role to provide training support and momentum to the future growth of the industry, by delivering the core higher education learning base and communicating the findings of the ongoing academic / industry research projects, to serve the training needs of an emerging marine energy industry in Wales. 4. Bibliography Regeneris Consulting and the Welsh Economy Research Unit. (2013b). The Economic Impact of the Development of Marine Energy in Wales. Welsh Government.

6 5 Welsh Government. (2009). Ministerial Policy Statement on Marine Energy in Wales. Welsh Government. Welsh Assembly Government. (2010). A Low Carbon Revolution. Crown Copyright. Welsh Government. (2012). Energy Wales: A Low Carbon Transition. Crown Copyright.

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