A NEW initiative to inspire a more diverse workforce in Pembrokeshire and beyond has been launched.

Pembrokeshire College and Pembrokeshire County Council have joined forces with Floventis Energy, RWE Renewables, Blue Gen Wind, Port of Milford Haven and Ledwood Engineering to create a new careers initiative.

Called SPARC, the initiative will help to inspire a new and more diverse workforce in Pembrokeshire and beyond, developing STEM skills and inspiring more girls to enter STEM-based industries.

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has welcomed a new careers initiative that will develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills and inspire more girls to enter STEM-based industries.

Hayley Williams, curriculum development manager, said: “Pembrokeshire is on the cusp of a transformative energy revolution, poised to reshape not only the local employment landscape but also extend its influence far beyond its borders.

“As we embark on this exciting journey towards a sustainable future, green energy skills clusters are forecasting a remarkable surge in local employment opportunities in south west Wales.

“The Port of Milford Haven projects the current energy sector surrounding the Waterway could support 8,000 Welsh jobs by 2030, with plans for Celtic Sea floating offshore wind having the potential to create 10,000 new jobs across the region by 2050.

“If this generational opportunity is to be realised educators and training providers will play a pivotal role in preparing learners.

“These opportunities also bring challenges, as the demand for skilled workers will be more than Pembrokeshire can supply. Females are still hugely underrepresented in STEM-based industries and gender disparity continues to perpetuate stereotyping and contributes to the UK gender pay gap.

“SPARC is no longer an idea; it has been made possible by genuine collaboration with industry and local secondary schools. Together we will feel confident of raising female ambition.”

Tess Blazey, Floventis Energy’s director of policy and external relations, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with industry and education to help address the gender gap that exists in STEM careers. The Celtic Sea, and projects like our Llyr 1 and 2 sites, provide such an exciting opportunity, and working collaboratively we can ensure that we have a workforce that is fit for the future, that puts equality at its heart and is able to maximise the potential from the floating offshore wind industry for years to come.”

The initiative has been welcomed by Welsh Government minister for education and Welsh language Jeremy Miles. He said: “It is important we inspire young people to develop their STEM skills and consider future careers in renewable energy.

“Women are under-represented in this sector, particularly in engineering. That’s why I’m so pleased that initiatives such as SPARC are enabling young people, especially girls, to discover the amazing opportunities available to them in this emerging employment sector.”