The Ogden Energy Internship programme is now in its third year, with 38 students set to undertake placements during summer 2018.
The scheme provides bursaries for sixth form students to undertake a four week (20 day) work placement with an energy/engineering company based in the local area, in the summer break between Year 12 and 13. Whilst the student will work with the local business, many of the company names would be recognised on the global stage, like Vattenfall, Scottish Power and James Fisher. In its first year, the programme offered four placements in the Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth area. Now the scheme is also running in Barrow-in-Furness which, like the East coast, has a thriving energy sector.
Under the leadership of Ogden Consultant John Best, who has steered the programme from inception, the scheme has gathered momentum with increased support from industry and schools. Thirty-three energy internships have taken place on the East Coast in 2018 and a further five in the Barrow region, with more than 20 businesses and six colleges involved in the scheme.
One of the interns is Rebecca Humphrey from East Norfolk Sixth Form College. She is undertaking her placement at Nexus, a training and resources centre for the fast-changing engineering industry on and offshore. Its mission is to raise the profile and understanding of the huge variety of opportunities in the engineering industry for young people as well as up-skilling the current workforce across the sector. During her placement, Rebecca will gain a real understanding of the wind industry in her region and considered how the Energy Internship scheme can be best utilised and promoted in the area.
"Before starting this internship I didn't realise just how much engineering is happening in my local area,” says Rebecca. “I have gained a real sense of appreciation for the industry happening near me."
Since its inception, the scheme has garnered industry-wide plaudits. In 2017, the programme was recognised in the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) Energy Awards, winning in the category of Skills for Energy. It was also awarded the Spirit of Enterprise – Great Yarmouth: Great Investment in People Award. Several interns have spoken at industry events, including 2016 interns Felicity Levett and Oliver George who spoke at the 2018 Global Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition this month – the World's largest dedicated offshore wind energy event.
Gemma Head, Skills for Energy Programme Manager (pictured below back right), who leads the Skills engagement initiatives with EEEGR members said: “I have been hugely impressed by the interns and the work which they have produced, as have my colleagues during our visits to Nexus over the past few weeks. I must admit that I’ve put the teams on the spot quite a bit with a few unplanned visits and they have each been brilliant at explaining their projects both to me and to the EEEGR Team. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished exhibition pieces!"
“This year we built a great relationship with Nexus Engineering Centre,” explains John. “This allowed me to develop three ‘Team Projects’ with Vattenfall, UK Power Networks and EEEGR, adding a new dimension to the overall learning experience. I was also thrilled to see that Richard Hinde, who was one of our interns in 2016, and went on to study computer sciences, has returned to undertake a six-week university placement with EEEGR. This will become a case study and exemplar for the younger interns as they see very clear pathways forward as their careers develop.
“The scheme aims to provide high-quality opportunities for young people to gain a deep understanding of what jobs are available in the energy industry as well as providing the students with a placement that utilises and enhances their STEM skills in a business environment,” continues John. “These internship schemes are part of strengthening a shared pipeline of opportunity with similar programmes in two marine communities; each serves the offshore wind, gas and nuclear industries and many of the energy companies and the supply chain involved have representation through both areas.
“I am particularly delighted by the momentum which this programme is generating. This has been matched by the fantastic support from The Ogden Trust who have agreed that we can support up to 50 interns in 2018, 2019 and 2020. With firm commitment in place, I have been able to talk to businesses and see how they can embed the internship programme as part on an ongoing process of personal development rather than simply support an annual initiative. Two of the businesses, James Fisher Marine Services and Windcat Workboats have supported an intern every year,” concludes John.
Pictured above right: Ogden Energy Intern Dom is developing a design brief as part of his placement at EEEGR.