Dumfries & Galloway College and Natural Power look to the future

30/08/2023

DUMFRIES and Galloway College (DGC) is pleased to announce a special partnership with Natural Power — the leading renewable energy consultancy and service provider — as they launch the first graduate placement scheme in a bid to help tackle the industry skills gaps.

Thanks to the partnership, the first three placements: Jonathan Payne (Moniaive), Iain McColm (Dumfries) and Christopher Whitehead (Cargenbridge), graduates of the wind turbine technician course, are now under way with their work placements as part of the service operations team supporting Windy Standard Wind Farm in Dumfries and Galloway.

To ensure the sustained growth of the programme, Natural Power plans to replicate the initiative with other education providers in geographically-strategic locations throughout Scotland that will support renewable energy infrastructure by engaging and securing a pipeline of local talent to provide the skills and bandwidth required for service delivery as the industry works towards net zero targets.  

James Hamilton, Service Delivery Manager at Natural Power, who has been instrumental in launching the programme, said: “Launching this transformative initiative is a significant accomplishment and marks an important milestone, not just for our organisation but for the industry at large – it is the culmination of extensive effort and dedication from all those involved.

“By welcoming new local talent, we are not only enriching our workforce but also fostering strong connections within our community. This initiative aligns with our unwavering commitment to nurturing talent and investing in the future of renewable energy.”

The six-month placement programme has been developed to provide candidates with a well-rounded experience on live projects – doing actual work – as well as learning softer skills such as interview techniques that will stand them in good stead to support this growing industry.

Joanna Campbell, Principal and CEO, Dumfries and Galloway College, said: “DGC is delighted to collaborate with Natural Power to deliver this innovative graduate placement scheme.

“As a college, we are committed to providing a pathway to employment for our students and this initiative is a roadmap to the future in renewable energy skills.”

To help ensure the sustained development of the programme, Natural Power is seeking support from Energy Skills Partnership (ESP), which aims to bring together Scotland’s college sector to work in partnership with Government, agencies and industry to meet national and regional skills needs.

Douglas Knox, Sector Manager at ESP, said: “Dumfries and Galloway College is one of the original members of the Wind Training Network, that has recently expanded to eleven colleges, to meet growing renewable energy skills demands.

“The development of this program is an excellent example of collaboration between the college sector and industry to meet specific skills requirements. By sharing best practices through the training network, we aim to replicate this model in partner colleges and move closer to meeting government net zero targets.”

To find a green energy course at Dumfries and Galloway College visit the course finder here.

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