A Nafferton teenager is helping build the world’s largest offshore wind farm after completing an apprenticeship with the project’s civil engineering company.
Fin Needham, 18, lives not far from the East Riding sites where onshore work was being carried out to prepare the first two phases of the wind farm for connection to the National Grid near Dunswell.
The teenager has worked on the sites at Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and is now studying for his Higher National Certificate in Civil Engineering with plans to move on to a Higher National Diploma at university level in the future.
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The former Driffield School student said his family is thrilled with his young career.
“Both my parents were very pleased when I found out that I had successfully applied,” he said.
“I had done my A-levels in mathematics, physics and geography and at first I didn’t know what I wanted to do next.
“Like my mother, I looked online for apprenticeships and eventually I applied to Jones Bros as we both knew the company from driving past the Dogger Bank premises.
“I really enjoyed being able to start close to home, getting to grips with the practical aspects of the engineering, using the GPS surveying equipment and helping out with ditches and the channels that the high voltage cables will run through.
“Everyone has been incredibly welcoming, especially two of the other trainees who are a little further down the course that I have been working with to help me get my bearings.”
The company’s involvement in renewable energy projects was a great incentive for him to apply for the apprenticeship.
“Low-carbon projects like Dogger Bank wind farm will become increasingly important in the future, so the skills I’m learning will be relevant for a long time,” he added.
Two huge converter stations are currently being built next to the A1079 between Hull and Beverly. They will eventually source the power generated by the wind farm in the North Sea via a 30km underground route of buried cables that runs near Ulrome on the east coast.
Jones Bros is responsible for the construction of the onshore cable route and has six senior engineering trainees and two general construction workers on site at the three phases of the Dogger Bank wind farm, with four facility workers completing their qualifications while working on the project.
Training manager Garmon Hafal said: “We are pleased to see how well Fin started his training and how everyone on site gave complementary support to his work.
“Advanced education is a fantastic entry point into the industry and I would encourage anyone considering a career in civil engineering to consider it.”
Oliver Flattery, Dogger Bank Wind Farm Onshore Operations Manager, said: “It is great to see our supply chain providing opportunities for young people in the communities where we are building our onshore infrastructure. We hope this is the start of a rewarding and exciting career for Fin. “
The wind farm project has also awarded grants, worth £5,000 each, to 25 students from coastal communities in the north of England to help with university courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Among them is former South Hunsley pupil Ruby Franklin, 19, from Swanland, who is studying engineering at the University of Sheffield.
She said, “This scholarship has helped me with financial worries, allowing me to fully focus on my studies while also providing inspiration for renewable energy in my area.”
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A total of 62 scholarships will be awarded during the construction of the wind farm, with further application rounds to follow in the years to come.
Lindsay Dougan, the project’s Community Investment Manager, said: “The quality of the scholarship applications from students was very high.
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