Sara Jones leads on our stakeholder engagement in Wales.

Sara explains the collaborative approach that we’re taking to working in partnership with education.

Careers and work-related experiences (CWRE) are now embedded as a cross-cutting theme across the new Welsh curriculum for all 3–16 year-olds in Wales. With schools and settings now expected to follow the statutory guidance for CWRE in developing their curriculum, it has become increasingly important for businesses to work collaboratively with schools to support pupils’ development on their learning pathway.

Here at Floventis, we’re using our knowledge, skills and time to support pupils across Wales.

We’ve developed a robust education programme that is intended to engage as widely as possible, both in Pembrokeshire where our projects are based, and in schools further afield.

We’ve formed a partnership with the Darwin Centre. As an award-winning education charity, their passion for enthusing young learners in STEM subject is truly infectious. Working with the Darwin Centre, we’ve developed a floating offshore wind design challenge for children and delivered it to numerous primary schools across Pembrokeshire. We showcased our collaboration in the Senedd earlier this summer, and it was heartening to see the support for this approach from Senedd Members and the Education Minister.

Whilst our work with the Darwin Centre is aimed at primary school children, as we believe that this is a key age to be building knowledge on STEM careers, we are also reaching out to older learners. We’ve sponsored Milford Haven Comprehensive school to enter the First Lego League and supported the competition through judging. If you haven’t heard of the First Lego League, do check it out, the skills it develops and the ability of those competing is mind blowing.

Given that only 30% of the workforce across the renewable sector is female, we’ve made it a priority to close the gender gap that exists in our education programmes. Working alongside Chwarae Teg, and with the support of Pembroke-Dock based Ledwood Engineering, we ran a Not Just for Boys event for year 8 girls in Pembrokeshire, helping to inform and give real life experiences from those that work in the industry. Aimed at inspiring girls to consider STEM careers, this is a project we’ll be looking to roll out more widely in the months to come.

We’re also pleased that our partnership with Careers Wales has led us to engaging with their advisers, helping to support their knowledge to communicate with our workforce of the future. We’ve delivered a webinar to 70 engagement advisers and hope to replicate this again next year. By advising the advisers we are helping to equip those who will play such a key role in building the pipeline of talent we need across the sector and supporting the roles which currently exist – and will exist as new technologies come forward. We have had direct engagement with post 16+ learners through careers fayres and events, which are always a useful tool to help us sell the wonderful world of floating offshore wind. We also have an exciting initiative with Pembrokeshire College in the pipeline.

We believe that our work to date this year has provided a solid foundation for the future as we establish ourselves as key contributor to the Welsh economy, and to Welsh communities.