Working with education providers to support good career guidance
Sofia team members visited a number of primary and secondary schools, and universities, during the last half of 2021 as part of the project's ongoing ambition to encourage young people into careers in offshore wind.
Team members, along with representatives from project contractors, attended careers events, gave talks about the offshore wind sector and ran specialised talks about their area of work, engaging with a total of more than 400 students of various ages.
The schools visited included Teesside primaries Whale Hill and Galley Hill; Teesside secondaries Redcar and Cleveland College, Freeborough Academy and Outwood Academy Bydales, and there were also two sessions at Newcastle University - once for a careers event and once when Sofia's Principal Geotechnical Engineer ran a session for Masters students and was hand to talk to students at the the follow-up ACCESS event.
Key for Sofia is ensuring the necessary skills required for the lifetime of the project are available by attracting high quality candidates and to be a responsible employer and a champion for developing skills.
A core part of this is encouraging young people to follow a STEM path of study; promoting the attractiveness of the sector as an employment option and actively engaging with education institutions to align with future skills needs. This is why attendance at schools and meeting with students are seen as a priority for the project.
Sofia's approach has been guided by the Gatsby Benchmarks of good career guidance in particular: learning from career and labour market information, linking curriculum learning to careers, encounters with employers and employees, and experiences of workplace.
Further school visits, presentations and attendance at careers days are scheduled in the diary for 2022 (covid-permitting).