The immense pride in creating 300 more jobs as a new super-sized blade enters production has been expressed by Siemens Gamesa’s Hull plant director.
Andy Sykes leads the offshore wind manufacturing base at one of the most exciting times in its first decade of operations, as the footprint doubling completes.
This week has seen the call go out to start the recruitment process to build the team to support the increased capacity, with a special event taking place in the city, while work on a 108m long new model began. They will be used on 14MW turbines to be installed at Moray West Offshore Wind Farm, as the industry continues to scale up.
Read more: Project completions delight in stellar year for Humber offshore wind cluster
Mr Sykes, who played a lead role in the move from original construction to operations in his initial position, said: “We are incredibly proud to be reaching out once more to the city to attract some more talent and grow our workforce. It is testament to the people we have already in the business that we are able to build the next generation of blades, and create these jobs.
“Work has started on the B108 – a 108m blade – we are the first factory producing this blade around the world, so it is an incredibly proud moment for us.”
In comparison, the early blades -including the one that became an art installation for Hull’s City of Culture – were 75m long.
While the £186 million investment in the Green Port plant completes, work now begins.
A recruitment campaign is about to launch for Siemens Gamesa’s expanding offshore wind farm blade factory. (Image: Siemens Gamesa / Hull City Council) “We start to ramp up production from this point, and hope to see this come off the line during March and onwards,” Mr Sykes said. “The expansion work will continue for a few more months, but we’re now in a position where we can make these blades. We wanted to start the process as soon as we could, there is lots to learn for us with a new production method, but the sooner we start, the sooner we learn and the sooner we can start to make more of these products.”
The new sizing features carbon beams, in addition to the fibreglass and balsa wood. It has previously been described as “new skill set and trade for the industry”.
The company is recruiting with the aim of having 850 production-based employees and a further 100 additional roles filled. Numbers have flexed with production schedules and manufacturing efficiency since it first opened in 2016.
“The investment of £186 million shows the confidence we have in not only the site, but the market,” Mr Sykes said, with a strong development pipeline in place for the UK and further afield. “It is an incredible investment, and I am going to be delighted to open the doors up to show the work that has been done.”
An official opening is anticipated later in the year, but first a recruitment day takes place on Thursday, which will lead to on-site assessment days in March, where potential employees will be able to see what’s involved.
“I’m just delighted to be in a position to offer these opportunities, with significant growth between now and September and potential beyond that into the early part of 2024,” Mr Sykes added.
As reported, the recruitment day takes place between 9.30am and 3pm, at the Employment Hub within Hull Central Library on Albion Street. Expressions of interest should be made by calling 01482 616623 in advance.
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