Opportunities for veterans to plug skills shortage in green energy sector
LJMU played host to the inaugural Veterans’ Green Energy Forum (Thursday 23 February) in an extension of its commitment to supporting veterans to better access higher education and to further its role in combatting climate concerns.
Bringing together representatives from academia, the offshore wind sector, the Ministry of Defence, and associated partners, the first meeting of the forum offered veterans the chance to connect with key players in the clean energy sector. LJMU was happy to provide the venue for the forum’s first meeting.
It is now hoped that through further events and meetings, the forum will become the go-to portal for ex-military personnel and other groups who want to establish careers in the renewable sector.
Together this work will forge lasting links and opportunities to plug the skills gaps and drive forward growth in the industry while tackling issues of employment inequality across the sector. The UK government’s ambition of achieving its Net Zero target by 2050 is reliant on the sector trebling the number of jobs in the offshore and onshore wind communities within the next eight years.
Dr Musa Bashir spoke about opportunities available to veterans at LJMU
LJMU’s Dr Musa Bashir, Reader in Marine and Offshore Engineering with the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, was one of the speakers and spoke about training and re-skilling opportunities available to veterans at LJMU. He also spoke about the career benefits of working in the renewable energy and offshore engineering sectors, and how veterans can tap into these opportunities.
Dr Bashir said: “The UK is a global leader in the offshore renewable energy market but is currently facing skilled-labour shortages, partly caused by the recent global energy crisis and demands to mitigate climate change effects.
“Training and re-skilling in this sector would provide veterans with rewarding new career opportunities where they can apply their strength and perseverance - gained during service to the nation - to solving societal challenges including in climate change, clean energy transition and energy security.”
Dr Bashir teaches Marine and Offshore Engineering (MSc), Naval Architecture Knowledge and Marine Design and Technology (BEng) modules. He recently developed a framework for MSc Renewable Energy which is due to commence in September 2023.
He added: “I want to support veterans, who are courageous, committed, and disciplined professionals, to channel their unique attributes to solving UK’s skilled-labour shortage in clean and renewable energy technologies.”
Alongside teaching, Dr Bashir’s research interests include the design of offshore renewable energy installations, structural health monitoring of fixed and floating offshore structures, experimental and numerical hydrodynamic modelling of offshore structures, design of moorings and application of intelligent decision-making tools in offshore operations. One project he’s involved with aims to develop hydrogen-powered ships to service the offshore wind farm industry.
Other high profile industry speakers
Other speakers at the event included Mark Blundell, Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside; Commodore Phil Waterhouse, Naval Commander Northern England; Andrew Elmes, Head of Business Development UK&I, Siemans Gamesa Offshore; Helen K Thomas, Senior Supply Chain Manager, RWE Renewables; Drystan Jones, Director Port Development Falmouth & Director General Manager, FDEC A&P Falmouth, Energy Lead, Cammell Laird and A&P Group; Tom Forster, Defence Business Manager, A&P Group; Martin W Land, Project Director, Mersey Tidal, Liverpool City Region and Danielle Kershaw, Head of Renewables, Complete Training Solutions (CTS).
The forum has been launched by leading communications agency, Artemis Media Profile in conjunction with Complete Training Solutions, LJMU, the Ministry of Defence, Cammell Laird, RenewableUK, the Standing Tall Foundation and Veterans UK.