Offshore Wind: UK Firm Looking to Hire 170+ Seafarers in the Next 18 Months

©North Star
©North Star

North Star, a UK-based offshore services firm building a fleet of offshore wind vessels, is looking to recruit more than 170 seafarers over the next 18 months.

The company is eyeing experienced crew ahead of its first hybrid-powered offshore wind fleet arriving in UK waters early next year. 

First, North Star is aiming to hire 42 qualified seafarers in the next couple of months, "he beginning of a commitment to recruit over 170 seafarers across the next 18 months to support the first of the company’s four new service operations vessels (SOVs)."

The four SOVs are all planned for deployment at what will be a 3.6GW offshore wind farm - the Dogger Bank.

The wind farm, which will be world's largest at completion, is located off the East Yorkshire coast, a joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor, and Vårgrønn. 

SOVs are used as living quarters for offshore wind turbine operation and maintenance technicians in the field, allowing them to be safely transferred to and from work while also serving as a logistics hub.

What roles is North Star looking to fill?

North Star is looking to fill positions such as ship's master, chief officer, second officer, gangway and crane operators, and electrical engineers.

he company, which specializes in emergency response and rescue vessel operation, and is working to break into the offshore wind sector, the company currently employs 1,300 personnel.

North Star's crewing department currently ensures its 41 emergency response and rescue vessels continue to provide uninterrupted, around the clock, 365-days-a-year support to 50 offshore oil and gas installations in the North Sea. 

Steve Myers, North Star’s SOV operations director, said: “As our unique vessel design utilises the most cutting-edge solutions including AI and machine learning technologies, walk-to-work gangways, and dynamic positioning, we have developed a programme of transition training to help upskill our current crew with their offshore wind career ambitions. 

"The additional new hires will work across both the SOVs as well as backfill openings within our existing fleet, ensuring we maintain our inclusive company culture and leverage a collective expertise to deliver safe and efficient operations in-field.” 

North Star said that its recent effort to hire more people was based on its ongoing cadet program. According to North Star, the company is the biggest employer of offshore cadets in the country, and spends £1 million a year on their training. 

North Star CEO Matthew Gordon said: "Investment in the new generation is at the heart of what we do and, with scalability being one of our core missions, this recruitment drive supports the next phase of our ambitious offshore wind growth plan to achieve a fleet of 40 new SOVs by 2040. 

"Earlier this month, we secured a £140 million financing package as we aim to seize additional contracts in the UK and new opportunities in Europe. This investment has opened the door wider for more sustainable careers for both cadets and the more experienced seafarers we retain and attract as the industry transitions. “We are not just hiring people to carry out a job, we aim to create a strong pipeline of skilled talent as we encourage and support our people to develop their careers.”

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