New agreement will boost training for jobs of the future at ZeroFour hub

Crown Estate Scotland and Dundee and Angus College have entered into a partnership to inspire people of all ages to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opportunities at clean growth enterprise hub, ZeroFour in Montrose.

Both parties will focus on promoting and accelerating the development of the skills required to support the green energy sector, as well as highlighting suitable training and career prospects in other clean STEM enterprises.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement follows Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing announcement in January, which saw 17 successful applicants offered seabed option agreements for proposed offshore wind projects totalling 25GW of new generating capacity. 

ZeroFour, which is being developed by Crown Estate Scotland, aims to become a national hub to support the development of clean enterprise, particularly in the blue (marine-based) and green economies including offshore wind. Providing offices, industrial/fabrication space and start-up units, it will attract organisations offering services and technology including research and development (R&D) to advance clean, green economic growth in Angus and the north-east of Scotland.

Under the MoU, tenants at ZeroFour will be encouraged to promote their training opportunities and employment needs to students at Dundee and Angus College and provide industry placements, work experience and internships.

The partnership will also aim to establish new entrant programmes for local school leavers, support companies to upskill their workforces and help workers transition into greener jobs.

Amanda Bryan, chair of Crown Estate Scotland said: “ZeroFour’s development comes at a time when the world, and indeed the world of work, is rapidly changing. The career prospects for young people in Scotland are very different to the ones their parents faced. Likewise, the energy transition is driving the need for engineers and technical workers in oil and gas to consider shifting to jobs in offshore renewable energy and the blue economy. 

“ZeroFour will bring significant investment and job opportunities to the region, furthering Angus’s position as a renewable energy hub. Working with Dundee and Angus College underlines our commitment to ensuring local communities benefit from new and emerging opportunities

Simon Hewitt, principal of Dundee and Angus College said, “This new partnership with Crown Estate Scotland and the creation of the ZeroFour hub is an exciting opportunity to build upon our existing achievements within the green agenda, both locally and nationally.

“The partnership will enable us to build an important platform for the region to ensure we are providing the skills and opportunities needed to guarantee that our region, its workforce and our communities are well-prepared to deliver the transition to NetZero.  We very much look forward to exploring the prospects ahead, driving real change and making an even greater contribution to the region.”

Dundee and Angus College has been sector-leading within this space for a number of years.  The College was also amongst the first to pilot the Learning for Sustainability Champions programme for college lecturers in partnership with Learning for Sustainability Scotland and EAUC-Scotland, to embed sustainability within its broader curriculum.

ZeroFour will be a purpose-built, innovation park for research and development, technology and services for the blue and green economies with new greener space for traditional enterprise with plans to include a hotel and other amenities.

The hub will use green infrastructure to support tenants and the region to achieve their net-zero ambitions.

Construction work at ZeroFour is due to begin this year. A schedule of community engagement events with more information about plans and future opportunities is being planned for spring 2022.