Two key staff behind the jobs drive at the SeAH Wind development have offered an update on recruitment for the project.
Piling work is well underway at the Teesworks South Bank site to pave the way for the vast 800 metre-long offshore monopile manufacturing facility.
South Bank resident Karen Maclane and Hartlepool’s Matthew Hart are leading the way in developing and growing the profile of SeAH Wind in the North East. Matthew joined SeAH Wind in October 2022 and Karen joined in January 2023. “We’ve been welcomed with open arms and the Koreans are great to work with,” said Karen.
They’ve explained how many jobs for the plant will come online towards the end of 2023, and early in 2024.
Karen is the Talent Acquisition Partner for SeAH Wind and will be a familiar face at jobs fairs across the Tees Valley in the coming months.
The 38-year-old grew up in TS6 and spent seven years working for Nobia UK. She also worked at G4S, in Stockton, before joining SeAH Wind in January.
The Mother of 2 has worked on Teesside for most of her adult life and is a Governor at St Margaret Clitherow’s RC Primary School, in South Bank.
“I’m very passionate about what SeAH Wind want to achieve and creating jobs and opportunities for people in our local area.” she said.
Father-of-two, Matthew, who was born and bred in Hartlepool, is the HR Manager for SeAH Wind. The 45-year-old initially began his career in IT, before moving into HR almost 20 years ago with Garlands Call Centres at their Hartlepool base.
After a spell working in the NHS, he then chalked up almost 16 years at the ICL Group, based in Cleveland Potash Ltd. It was there he rose to become UK Head of HR before seizing an opportunity with SeAH Wind last year. Matthew said that he was extremely proud to be SeAH Wind’s first Teesside based employee and is excited about the set-up project.
SeAH Wind staff are now on the ground in Middlesbrough as progress on constructing the £450million facility on the 90-acre South Bank site gathers pace. Matthew explained that SeAH Wind have now set an office up in Teesside, where both Karen and he are based along with their first intake of managers who will lead the business going forwards.
The mammoth project will create up to 700 direct jobs when it reaches full production, and circa 1,500 indirect jobs during the construction period and more jobs in the supply chain once operations start.
Matthew explained how SeAH Wind was building its Senior Management Team and support functions. He revealed the bulk of staff recruitment for the SeAH Wind factory would accelerate towards the end of this calendar year, and into the early part of 2024, ready for production commencing in mid-2024.
He said: “By mid-2024 we plan to have around 300 employees, and then circa 700 by 2026/7 depending on our order book, when we will look to add additional shifts.
“This means there won’t just be the initial 300 jobs, but as we grow there will be more positions and also many more jobs created in our supply chain.”
Some of the Teesside staff, newly employed by SeAH Wind, have recently travelled out to Korea to visit SeAH’s Headquarters in Seoul as well as some of SeAH’s other production facilities, with the aim to start collaborating and transferring knowledge and information from the Korean team.
When it comes to skillsets of the future workforce, SeAH Wind are keen to tap into the expertise of the region. The firm is also looking at building a training programme with the potential for apprenticeships in the future.
Karen said: “We’ll be looking for Flux Cored and Submerged-Arc Welders, however other roles we are looking to fill will include Crane Drivers, CNC operators, and General Operatives.”
Matthew added: “To support our facility, we will also need to hire talented individuals into a number of other roles including Health and Safety, Quality Assurance, IT, Finance, HR, and Procurement.”
While the bulk of positions will come online later this year and early in 2024, the pair revealed SeAH Wind had already attracted a positive response on the ground in the Tees Valley.
Matthew said: “We’ve had some good interest so far, receiving a lot of speculative CV’s and we recently attended a jobs fair at Darlington, so we’re speaking to people about all the opportunities.
“Over the next couple of months, we plan to have our own website where we’ll list all our vacancies and provide a portal in which people can apply for them.”
Matthew has close knowledge of Teesside’s recent industrial past and explained the firm was keen to see positions recruited locally where possible.
“Our desire is to recruit from the local area – there will be times where we have to go further afield. We will look at trying to get the very best talent from across the Teesside area and augment this with global talent as and when required.” He added: “The North-East is a fantastic place to work and live.”
Facilities on the South Bank site are beginning to take shape after ground was broken on construction last summer. Building work on Teesworks infrastructure, such as the mile-long South Bank Link Road and the heavy lift South Bank Quay, will also be complete this year. Matthew explained: “The site has so many key ingredients in terms of the deep-water quay and the heritage of what Teesside is and was. We’re all in it for the long term.”
When fully operational, the SeAH Wind plant is expected to produce between 100 and 200 monopiles per year which will be transported directly from the factory to the new Quay facility, before heading to the North Sea for installation.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Teesworks is driving forward with the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of tomorrow – and the SeAH project is an absolutely vital part of this push.
“Skilled workers are no longer having to travel hundreds of miles to ply their trade by working on game changing projects close to home. SeAH has been hugely supportive so far and great progress is being made at South Bank.
“It all means local workers can secure good jobs closer to the place they know and love – and I’m excited for the recruitment push coming over the horizon.
“It all helps to offer a raft of career paths in good well-paid jobs for our young people in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
To keep up to date on SeAH Wind recruitment news, go to: https://www.linkedin.com/company/seah-wind-ltd