CATCH hosted a skills and supply chain workshop on Thursday 23 June to investigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the Humber’s industrial decarbonisation ambitions
The workshop was led by Andrew Jones, Senior Manager with Energy and Natural Resources team at KPMG who are delivering key research for the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan. The session was attended by key contractor organisations in the region to discuss the subject with senior leaders from CATCH, HEY LEP and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board.
Andrew explained the purpose of the workshop to investigate supply chain and skills requirements for design, construction and commissioning of proposed industrial decarbonisation infrastructure in the region. This includes multiple carbon capture, transport and storage projects and ambitious plans to build new facilities to manufacture low carbon hydrogen.
Jonathan Oxley, Cluster Plan Manager at the HEY LEP commented during the session that ‘estimates show that we will need 25,000 – 30,000 skilled workers to deliver the Humber’s industrial net zero ambitions, whilst other clusters and construction projects around the UK are also actively seeking labour to deliver their projects’.
KPMG have been commissioned to investigate skills and supply chain barriers to deployment through one to one interviews with key deployment projects, contractors, training providers and local government representatives. It was clear from the workshop discussions that there are multiple factors effecting the availability of engineering construction labour.
The workshop participants unpacked several challenges and discussed some really innovative solutions to increasing the attractiveness of the wider energy sector, finding new ways to bring cohorts of learners into training and finding a route to sharing responsibility for recruiting and training workers.
The second part of the session was led by Mohammad Dabboussi from the Energy and Natural Resources team at KPMG, which investigated the future supply chain needs which covered sourcing parts and materials for UK low-carbon projects. The group discussed resilience and which areas are weaker and need to be addressed.
The group agreed that there will be some import of parts and equipment, we cannot achieve 100% UK content as some engineered parts will be manufactured abroad and many parts used today are already subject to long lead times.
David Talbot, CATCH CEO and Co-Chair of the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan said ‘ the workshop today has reinforced the focus of the CATCH business plan and our ongoing skills strategy work. The cluster plan has enabled our region to invest in this crucial research into the supply chain skills & labour challenge. Through the cluster plan, CATCH is now developing a collaborative response to ensuring all the industrial clusters can proceed with their ambitions for industrial net zero’.
KPMG are undertaking further interviews and analysis into supply chain and skills aspects of industrial decarbonisation for the Humber cluster. The final report will be prepared over the summer.