Oil and energy firms to shape new generation of renewables engineers

Energy and oil giants are the major backers of a new government scheme aimed at training the next generation of renewable engineers.

Business secretary Vince Cable, visiting Scotland today (August 31), announced funding totalling £6.5M at the University of Edinburgh aimed at encouraging more people into low carbon engineering.

His plan is backed by oil giants Shell and BP, 'Big Six' energy firms EDF Energy and E.ON as well as aerospace and engineering experts Rolls-Royce and construction firm Caterpillar.

The training for the scheme will take place at the universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter and will be supported by the Scottish Association for Marine Science and consultants HR-Wallingford.

Mr Cable, who highlighted Scotland's 'real strengths' in renewable energy, hopes the scheme will combine the best of the country's top universities and biggest industries to support his planned Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE).

Mr Cable said: "Engineering skills are vital for the growth of a more sustainable economy and are in high demand from employers.

"This scheme will see industry working with universities to provide students with the training and commercial experience businesses want."

EDF Energy director of company shared Services and integration, Peter Hofman, added: "As the energy market in the UK develops it is crucial we train engineering students in low carbon generation expertise."

IDCORE will be funded through the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Luke Walsh


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