The future could quite literally be in the hands of 21 students selected to take part in an industry-backed scholarship designed to help meet the skills needs ready for the transition to green energy.
Energy giant bp has teamed up with Redcar and Cleveland College to create the bespoke programme now welcoming its first batch of students, offering a potential leg-up on to the career ladder and a training allowance as they study.
“After spending the year planning, it’s hugely exciting to see the first students joining the programme,” said Sarah Ryan, bp’s social performance advisor for the UK. “Teesside has the potential to become a world-class, low carbon energy hub, but needs the talent and skills to do so.
“We are proud to continue investing in young people in Teesside and provide the training and qualifications they need to access high-quality low carbon jobs that will help sustain the region for decades to come.”
A flagship course for the college in its drive to prepare people for the green, renewable and low carbon industries of the future, the Teesside Clean Energy Technician scholarship is being delivered at Redcar and Cleveland College’s all new Clean Energy Education Hub.
Announced early this year, the unique opportunity that comes with a £100 weekly term-time bursary, and primarily aimed at school leavers aged 16 to 18, saw up to 100 hopeful applicants vying for a place.
Redcar and Cleveland College’s head of engineering, David Laycock, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for these young people who will not only develop the knowledge and skills of their future trade but will also have the backing of a global employer, and all of the potential advantages that this could bring.”
Anya, 17, is among those selected to take part. Keen to build a career in greener and cleaner energy, she said: “This is definitely the future and so for me the bp scholarship is ideal.”
Hearing about the programme at a Women in Engineering event at the college, she said: “It sounded ideal as it is a chance to learn in a practical hands-on environment and it will be on my CV that I have the experience of being a bp scholar.”
Looking forward to getting started, Luke, 17, of Hartlepool, said: “Clean energy is the future and definitely where I want to be in terms of my career. I am super excited by this opportunity.”
While Alfie, 16, from Saltburn, added: “I believe renewable energy is the way forward. I was over the moon when I found out I had a scholarship place, there is nothing that even comes close to this opportunity.”
By working alongside bp, the two-year scholarship has been designed to ensure students’ knowledge and skills meet the needs of developments in hydrogen, carbon capture and green industries.
This week scholarship students were introduced to the college with a dedicated launch event where they met representatives from bp and were officially handed their overalls and PPE.
The college’s head of engineering David said: “We recognise the part we have to play in equipping school leavers and adult learners with the skills to meet industry needs and maximise their chances of benefitting from the jobs of the future. To do this, having the backing of employers such as bp behind us is integral. We want to give all our students the chance to develop the qualities to help them build meaningful and skilled careers.”