Weekly update, 27th February 2017

Energy & business services:
• As the construction of the Operations and Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project gets closer to starting, the long-term staffing of the project is already being considered. Tier 1 contractor Siemens is inviting applications for apprenticeship programmes: the Siemens offer is for Advanced Apprenticeships in Mechatronic Maintenance (site based technician). For more information on the opportunities and application details please see https://jobs.siemens-info.com/jobs/255352/Wick+(Beatrice)+-+Advanced+Apprentice+Wind+Power+Site+Based+Technician?lang=en-GB

Enabling activities:
• Employers looking to recruit fresh talent are invited to attend an event aimed at workers in the oil and gas sector facing redundancy. Businesses from all sectors of the economy have the chance to exhibit at the free event, being held at the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre (AECC), on Wednesday 29 March 2017. The event is the fifth to be organised by the Scottish Government’s initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), and forms part of the response from the Energy Jobs Taskforce. Caithness was represented at a previous Aberdeen event by CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland, and reported keen interest from workers in opportunities in the north. For more information about the event visit http://www.ourskillsforce.co.uk/employment-support-event and register to attend at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/north-east-employment-support-event-tickets-31353135071 You can read some case studies of people (including Peter Smith from Caithness) helped by previous events at https://www.scottish-enterprise.com/knowledge-hub/articles/case-study/oil-and-gas/pace

Communications:
As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP’s partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:
• Last week saw the publication of the latest edition of the Energy North supplement from Scottish Provincial Press, which continues to provide an excellent read for anyone interested in developments in the north. This edition highlights the opening of the NDA Archive in Wick, and I was happy to be asked to comment on the proposed floating offshore wind project off the north coast of Caithness. You can read the digital edition of the supplement at http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?eid=dbd68374-f09f-412e-b519-2b9177eeec68
• The conveyor belt of digital talent at Wick High School continues to impress, with several teams of App builders from the school pitching their ideas this week as part of the Apps for Good (https://www.appsforgood.org/) competition that the school has done so well in over the past few years. The young teams (Tartan Badges, Music Kidz, MyMidgeForecast, Off-Road App) all have twitter and/ or facebook feeds – please check them out!
• I was delighted to attend the official re-opening of the Dounrway.com office in Thurso this week. Dounreay Stakeholder Group chairman David Flear performed the opening in front of a small audience including Dounreay Managing Director Phil Craig. The office will help tell the story of Dounreay decommissioning, but will also carry information on the activities of CNSRP, and forms part of the wider project to bring the whole of the Traill House building in central Thurso back into economic use. Staff from the Dounreay site have now relocated into Traill House, bringing additional daily footfall into the town centre. http://www.dounreay.com/news/2017-03-02/dounreays-high-street-makeover