A group of Norfolk teenagers have been tasked with designing a model of an offshore wind turbine, to teach others about how the technology works. 

The contest is being run by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) and the energy firm Equinor, and will see 16 to 19 year olds at East Norfolk Sixth Form compete to come up with the best design.

Entrants met with representatives from the industry at an event at the sixth form on Tuesday and were given the chance to talk to people working in the field.

It’s part of a drive by numerous players in the region’s offshore energy sector to fill the growing skills gap - with forecast jobs exceeding 100,000 for the first time - and a dramatic surge of workers required over the next seven years, according to the Offshore Wind Industry Council.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Volunteers from across the energy sector at the East Norfolk Sixth Form eventVolunteers from across the energy sector at the East Norfolk Sixth Form event (Image: EEEGR)

And, as one of the sector’s most important hubs, the region’s schools and colleges are set to be at the forefront of delivering the necessary training. 

Heidi Cullingham, futures manager at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, said: "It’s part of our passion as a sixth form to offer our students as many interactions with employers as possible so they can make informed and aspirational choices about their future. 

“Today’s event with EEEGR and its members is a great example of how employers can help shape the future workforce and inspire our young people."

Sophie Skipp, head of energy skills at East of England Energy Group, added: “There are so many hidden careers and we’re giving the students the opportunity to get involved with the international and local business that create many jobs and long-term careers all around the coast.

“Students will develop employability skills giving them the confidence to succeed in the skills you may not be tested on.”