Level 3 Construction students at the College of West Anglia with Paul O'Shea, Assistant Principal Student Services at CWA, Jane Burton, Construction Programme Manager at CWA and Lilly Dowe from Ørsted.
Students from the College of West Anglia (CWA) took part in a groundbreaking educational initiative, actively constructing a scaled replica of an offshore floating wind turbine at Bircham Newton, Norfolk. Developed by Constructionarium (a specialist in scaled hands-on construction experiences) and funded through the New Anglia Growth Fund, the project, AngliaZero, now stands as a trailblazing achievement and is believed to be the world’s first of its kind educational tool.
Over the course of a transformative week-long event, learners from CWA collaborated to construct a fully operational scaled model of an offshore floating wind turbine in a dry dock and on Friday, flooded the dock and winched the 7.7m, 4t structure out into the lagoon where it was connected to a house the learners also built. The floating offshore wind turbine supplied power to a domestic appliance inside the house situated in the middle of Constructionarium’s 19-acre site. Lilly Dowe (Community Liaison Officer at Ørsted) had the honour of commissioning the system as Ørsted Hornsea Three Project funded this event for CWA.
Julia Stevens, Chief Exec of Constructionarium said “AngliaZero serves as a tangible showcase of engineering process and illustrates the practical application of emerging wind turbine technology. Beyond the acquisition of technical skills, AngliaZero provided an immersive experience that fostered the development of personal and life skills amongst the participants. This initiative will not only open pathways to new career opportunities in the renewable energy sector but also draws attention, to the anticipated job growth in Norfolk and the UK over the next few years.”
The hands-on construction experience gained by the learners during this intensive week will undoubtedly play a pivotal role as they prepare to conclude their studies in the next six months. Constructionarium, leveraging its extensive industry network, remains committed to promoting built environment career opportunities not only within the local community but across the UK.
“We are immensely proud of our partnership with Constructionarium for this groundbreaking initiative, providing our learners with a hands-on experience that transcends traditional classroom learning,” said Jane Burton, Construction Programme Manager at CWA. “The skills acquired during the construction of AngliaZero will undoubtedly position our students for success as they embark on their next stage of academic or professional journeys.”
Andrew Hockey, Chief Executive of ECITB (Engineering Construction Industry Training Board), expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This project is a fantastic way to inspire and gives learners the opportunity to understand how engineering construction is a credible career path. The event enables learners to see the end-to-end process of this emerging technology which is unrivalled.”
Sophie Skipp, Head of Energy Skills at the EEEGR (East of England Energy Group) visited on the final day to meet with the learners and handed out the CPD certificates to them. She expressed her admiration for the learning undertaken. “Constructionarium’s unique facility and how they are pushing the green skills agenda forward are to be admired” she noted.
Sophie Skipp Head of Energy Skills at East of England Energy Group and Liv, CWA Level 3 construction student.
As part of its ongoing commitment to fostering education and career development, Constructionarium stands ready to collaborate with local and national stakeholders, businesses, and academia to promote and support emerging career and learning and development opportunities in the rapidly evolving renewable energy sector.
Paul O'Shea, Assistant Principal Student Services speaking to CWA construction students about their experience at the Constructionarium.