East Coast Energy Internship
Rebecca Humphrey, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, was one of four students enrolled on the 2018 East Coast Energy Internship Programme this summer. Now in its third year the scheme provides bursaries for sixth form students to undertake a four week work placement with an energy company in the local area.
Rebecca undertook her placement at the Nexus Engineering Centre, a training and resource 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. She worked with three other interns, Tommy Mullins, George Madeley and Nathaniel Barber, who were based at Vattenfall, one of Europe's largest energy companies.
The programme is a new scheme established by The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Ogden Trust and Suffolk County Council in association with Waveney District Council. Its aim is to develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills in a real workplace environment by working on a real-life project.
John Best, consultant with the Ogden Trust, says:
“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.”
The task was to build a stand that could be used to represent Vattenfall at events and career fairs. The budget was £300. The stand was to include some form of interactivity that would help to engage people of different age groups and had to be light enough for a single person to set up at an event. A final stipulation was that it should represent the scale of Vattenfall's Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas projects, which led the team to develop a scale model as the theme for the project.
Rebecca's role was to communicate and advertise the internship to potential host companies and future interns, using social media and a blog. She also wrote a case study and compiled a bank of approved photographs.
The Nexus team were on hand throughout the project to give advice on the best designs and how to implement them. With the help of Bob and Dale the team progressed from a model wind turbine to a scale model of the proposed wind farms and the cable route all the way to Necton, where the substation is planned to be located.
Rebecca, who is currently studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A-level, hopes to go on to a degree in either Astrophysics or Mathematical Physics. She says the placement has helped her to gain a real understanding of the wind industry in the region:
"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."
Gemma Head, Skills for Energy Programme Manager, who leads the Skills engagement initiatives with EEEGR (East of England Energy Group) 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."