Find out how Equinor is providing gateways to green careers to address skills needs and ensure a more sustainable future.

As the UK aims to transition to a greener, lower-carbon future, it is essential that the energy industry helps to address skills gaps and labour shortages across the UK to stay on track to reach ambitious net zero targets.

Equinor is a global energy company that employs a 22,000- strong workforce. It is working to provide opportunities for people to transition into greener careers by building a diverse and inclusive workforce with roles available in everything from floating offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture to data analytics, AI and digitalisation in its operations.

Eastern Daily Press: Equinor stakeholder manager Susan Falch-LoveseyEquinor stakeholder manager Susan Falch-Lovesey (Image: Equinor)

“The energy transition is rich, it’s multidirectional, it’s complex – and we need to apply our skills to make society and the world more sustainable,” said stakeholder manager Susan Falch-Lovesey. “Everybody has a place and a part to play.”

To reach the UK’s ambitious targets of installing 50GW of offshore wind by 2030, the energy industry is focused on equipping people with the right skillsets to be able to help deliver these lofty goals. This requires people of all backgrounds including people at the start of their career and experienced people transitioning into the energy industry.

Every year, more than 150 young people from around the world start their careers at Equinor through the company’s Graduate Training Programme.

Transitioning into the offshore wind industry is also vital to secure the right skillsets, not least so for those with a military background. A large percentage of the company’s offshore wind turbine technicians are ex-military, and there are also roles available in numerous disciplines where an ex-military background is sought after.

Eastern Daily Press: Equinor vice president of operation and maintenance Karl ButlerEquinor vice president of operation and maintenance Karl Butler (Image: Equinor / Julian Claxton)

Karl Butler, vice president of operation and maintenance, served 12 years in the Royal Air Force before joining Equinor in 2013. Following a tour of Afghanistan, Karl transitioned from the armed forces to the energy industry with a position at Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm.

“There are significant transferable skills from the military to the energy industry, including technical disciplines, culture and approaches to work,” he said.

“Attention to detail and quality of outcome are paramount in the military, as they are within the energy industry, to ensure safe and efficient operations.”

Karl said problem solving, calmness under pressure, clear communication and the ability to manage time are important in both fields – and that these skills provide a fantastic foundation for anyone wanting to contribute towards the energy transition.

“Any role is a possibility within Equinor, given the adaptability and courage of military personnel to challenge themselves and the support and focus Equinor has for the development of our people.

“Equinor has a huge opportunity and responsibility to shape the future of the energy sector in a sustainable and conscientious manner for society,” Karl said.

Equinor also offers full career progression through work experience, international summer internships and degree apprenticeships.

Participants can benefit from training, mentoring and the chance to work across the world.

Eastern Daily Press: Martha Eaton completed work experience with EquinorMartha Eaton completed work experience with Equinor (Image: Equinor)

Martha Eaton was part of Equinor’s pilot work experience programme during EEEGR Wind Week in 2022. She went on to participate in a 20-day Ogden Trust summer internship in 2023.

“A key area of sustainability is having a skilled current and future workforce to implement change and innovation,” Martha said.

Martha, a student at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, collaborated with two other students on the same programme to investigate the sustainability of the Great Yarmouth O&M base and identified where improvements could be made to reduce environmental impact.

She also led tours of the base, represented Equinor at events such as the Royal Norfolk Show, and helped to develop the Equinor section of The Mason Trust’s ‘I Can Be A...’ website, which profiles employment opportunities and professional development for young people and those in their early careers.

Martha said she was motivated to explore work experience at Equinor because she has always been dedicated to environmental change.

“I had the misconception that I would need to pursue a mechanical-based career, but I have now seen the variety of jobs that occur alongside the classic roles,” she said. “In the future, I believe I would be able to help ensure environmental regulations are being adhered to and work on constructive plans to enable business and political targets to be met.

“I am interested in being a piece of the puzzle to help implement positive changes for both people and the planet.”

Susan added: “It’s about being brave and being part of the solution. Our work experience students saw what needed doing and did it.

“That’s what it feels like in the green economy: we are forging our way forward.”

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This article is part of the Eastern Daily Press Clean & Green campaign, which aims to promote our region as the biggest in the UK and Europe for all forms of renewable energy.