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Extra interviewers drafted in to meet 250 high-calibre candidates in wind jobs drive

More than 250 hopeful wind technicians were interviewed yesterday at a “fantastic” recruitment event in Great Yarmouth for over 100 new jobs at 3sun Group.


Demand for interviews was so high that extra managers were drafted in from nearby 3sun House to make a team of eight interviewers to cut waiting times for the 150 walk-in appointments at the Kings Centre.


Applicants were mostly oil & gas workers from the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft area worried about their futures during the sector downturn and seeking a new start and training for new roles in a growing new industry with “longevity”.


Recruiters had pre-booked interviews with 100 people with the relevant electrical, mechanical and inspection qualifications after more than 1500 people sent in CVs after the recruitment drive was announced last week.


The new jobs will service 3sun Group’s £6million of new and existing contracts in offshore wind across the UK and internationally.


3sun Group recruiter Sally Spaull, who interviewed throughout the six hours, said the calibre of candidates had been excellent.


 “I am confident that we will get the technicians we need without going to agencies from this recruitment drive. We now have a fresh database of potential technicians.”


“We now have the great job of the follow up. As a recruiter, it is really exciting as it is now my job to find them jobs.”


Lisa Lock, Head of HR for 3sun Group, said they had to call in managers for extra interviewers to meet the demand and cut applicants’ waits. Everyone who attended was interviewed.


 “The atmosphere today has been fantastic. We will do this type of event again because our work is going to grow. It great to be able to give people a start in a new industry and meet so many people who want to work with us.


“The feedback has been brilliant – and the way our team responded so quickly and willingly to the call for extra interviewers shows the ethos of 3sun Group team work.


3sun Group chief executive Graham Hacon targeted local people and oil & gas workers experiencing difficulties finding work when he announced the new job opportunities last week.


Interviewees’ ages ranged between 19 and 60 yesterday and included electricians and mechanical engineers and qualified turbine engineers working for agencies who wanted to have a permanent job.


Up to 50 people were queuing at a time to sign in and lines of chairs inside the Kings Centre remained full throughout the six-hour event.


New recruits will be given training at 3sun Academy.


James Hodds, 34, filled in an application form after 12 years in the oil & gas industry. Currently self-employed working on a day rate basis on contracts for different companies worldwide, he was constantly anxious work would dry up.


“We have all seen it get so much harder in oil & gas in the last couple of years. I read about this event last week and retraining as a wind technician is something I have looked at for a while so it felt like the perfect opportunity to try to move career into new skills in a new area.


One candidate, was laid off from his job before Christmas after four years in the oil & gas industry. He had worked on the Dudgeon offshore wind farm offshore substation jacket at Sembmarine SLP and accommodation modules. His last job for BFS for a Claxtons contract came to an end in December.


“This feels like the perfect opportunity to retrain for an industry that is growing, I am interested in and has so many future opportunities.”


A father and son were among those waiting for interviews. Both work in the oil & gas industry with mechanical backgrounds and were concerned about the future. They did not want to be named because they were still employed by different companies.


“I really hope my son gets the opportunity to have a new start and build a career in the wind sector because that is where the future is. There is so little happening in oil & gas. I came along too because things are not getting better.”


In hand to offering advice to hopefuls as they waited was 3sun Group wind technician Dolphie Gray, who retrained four months ago after four years in the oil & gas industry as an ROV pilot after training as an electrician.


The 31-year-old has been working on the construction of the Rampion offshore wind farm off Brighton.


“I was working as an electrician and got all my offshore certificates off my own bat to move to work in oil & gas.


“The oil & gas work came to an abrupt end last year and I was offered a zero hours contract with no work. I had the choice of staying or looking elsewhere and the chance of an interview at 3sun came up, which was so lucky.


“The training at the 3sun Academy and the GWO (Global Wind Organisation) courses were really good with the sea survival covered in Lowestoft. 


“For me, moving into the wind sector was all about the longevity and the future opportunities it offers as it grows. There will definitely be a lot of work ahead for those with the right skills and attitude.”