Don’t let Brexit lead to offshore skills shortage, MPs warned

Engineering company Offshore Marine Management (OMM) is urging MPs to consider the impact of Brexit on the future of the offshore renewables industry.

The call comes after the House of Lords backed an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill that would oblige the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) when it leaves the EU next year, which would allow the UK to retain key aspects of the single market.

The OMM said that this amendment would help the offshore renewable industry meet targets set for 2025 and beyond as it allows the free movement of people within the European Economic Area. The company said cutting the supply of skilled offshore workers would risk renewable development due to unknown rising costs.

OMM’s director, Rob Grimmond, said :“There is potential for the increased administration costs associated with the end of free movement privileges to significantly restrict the opportunities available to our team and others alike. This will not only have negative implications for British businesses like OMM, but also for the renewables industry across Europe as a whole, in light of the significant role we play in offshore wind production.”

OMM’s sister company, Offshore Marine People Academy (OMPA),  which trains and provide personnel for the offshore and marine industries, have echoed this warning. OMPA’s Anthony Lewis said: “Staying within the EEA could mitigate the additional costs, administration and risk to quick response presented by working with countries that require British workers to complete visa applications, and as such would give our skilled and experienced workers the continued opportunity to operate successfully in European waters.”

Related content:

Clean energy is the UK’s biggest Brexit opportunity

Onshore wind: an industry for a post-Brexit UK?

EUSkills warning: diverging policies may limit skilled staff movement within the UK

Feature: On track for offshore wind targets Janet Wood found the offshore wind industry is confident that it can achieve 2020 cost targets, with both steady progress and step-changes in view. (Members only)

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