Boldon Secondary School in South Tyneside will benefit from enhanced STEM learning. Image credit: SSE Renewables

Young people from coastal communities in the UK are set to share in a £1 million ($1.4 million) investment from Dogger Bank Wind Farm to prepare them for working life in a net zero world.

Project developers of Dogger Bank, SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni are developing a programme in partnership with local authorities in the North and North East of England to put science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at the heart of children’s education.

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The programme has been developed with local skills and education stakeholders to ensure it meets local priorities with a focus on early years in East Riding of Yorkshire, and primary to secondary school transition in South Tyneside. All 124 primary schools in East Riding of Yorkshire and all 18 secondary schools in South Tyneside will have the chance to increase and expand their current science, technology, engineering and maths provision.

Plans are still being drawn up for how the programme will support youngsters in the Redcar and Cleveland area, where the third phase of the wind farm will connect to the National Grid at Lackenby. These will be confirmed when the third phase, Dogger Bank C, reaches its final investment decision later this year.

In addition to enhancing STEM provision in the classroom, 50 students from these areas will receive a scholarship to help with the cost of further education qualifications while studying STEM subjects.

Students from Skipsea Primary School in East Riding. Image credit: SSE Renewables

In addition to this STEM fund, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will invest £13.5 million ($19 million) in the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership during its lifetime, a programme set up to support the growth of the UK offshore wind supply chain.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Gillian Keegan, said: “As we recover from the pandemic, we’re investing billions of pounds to help the UK become a global leader in green technologies. This includes the creation of up to 250,000 jobs by 2030 through our Ten Point Plan, which will be critical in delivering a green industrial revolution. It’s fantastic to see the developers of Dogger Bank Wind Farm supporting this by investing in science, technology, engineering and maths skills. Not only is the world’s largest offshore wind farm pioneering new technology, it is also innovating in the way it’s supporting coastal communities to ensure young people are equipped to access the green jobs of the future.”

Steve Wilson, Project Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said: “We estimate more than 25,000 young people from 142 schools in the north and north-east of England will benefit from this funding, as we open their eyes to the green industry opportunities of our net zero future.

“Renewable energy will increasingly become a source of skilled jobs in the UK as we come through the pandemic, and rebuild our economy. This is one of the most significant investments the offshore wind industry has made in future skills, and could be the key to unlocking the future potential of many young people, as we put STEM skills at the very heart of their learning.”