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Celebrating success

Ogden consultant John Best and Programme Manager Adam Boal collect the Skills for Energy Award.

Published: 21 December 2023

In 2016, the Ogden Coastal Energy internship programme launched in East Anglia with just four students, Ogden funding and the determination and commitment of John Best. This year at the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) awards, John received the Skills for Energy Award recognising his (and the programme’s) contribution to learning, skills and development in the energy sector.

The Coastal Energy programme is now well-established and has expanded to include placements in Blyth, Barrow-in-Furness, Grimsby and Ulverston, as well as increasing numbers in East Anglia. The interns work on a 20-day placement in local companies connected to the energy sector; they complete a business-focused project which they also submit for a British Science Association CREST award. Interns receive an educational bursary to support participation.

This year, 48 students were placed with 33 companies and the programme has now helped over 200 young people get a first foot on the ladder to a possible career in the energy sector.

“A 20-day coastal energy internship has been life changing for some of our interns,” explains John, “and I often refer to it as ‘more than 20 days’. I like to think that it has a unique place in growing confidence and experience for a young person. Past interns have gone on to become young STEM Ambassadors helping and encouraging others just a few years behind them on the journey and we are now seeing more of our previous interns completing apprenticeships and starting careers.

“We know that these internship opportunities provide a wonderful way for young people to gain experience in the world of work through an applied and meaningful project,” continues John. “Students gain industry insight and make valuable contributions to real-world business issues; the transferable skills and confidence that the interns gain cannot be underestimated. But it really is win win; host companies get practical insight that can be applied to business challenges they are facing and they help to build the coastal energy talent pipeline.”

“I am passionate about encouraging young people to excel in their chosen career paths – and I hope that for some of our interns, that path will lead to the energy sector and its many and varied opportunities,” concludes John.

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