UK subsea cable manufacturer, XLCC, today announces the appointment of 12 apprentice cable-jointers from North Ayrshire College, as it begins to level up its local workforce following the planning permission approval of its Hunterston site. This represents the first phase of XLCC’s commitment to employ 900 skilled professionals in North Ayrshire in the coming years as it gears up to produce high-voltage-direct-current (HVDC) subsea cables.
XLCC is aiming to employ a first cohort of 60 apprentice jointers to develop a strong pipeline of certified HVDC jointers in North Ayrshire. The firm has partnered with Ayrshire College to hire students directly from their Performing Engineering Operations courses for internal training which will take place over a three-year period. The training will ensure that the workforce within the factory is able to deliver the necessary 20km factory joints, vital to the reliable operation of the 160km cable segments over time. XLCC will continue to build on its strong connection with Ayrshire College and will hire from the institution’s pool of graduates each year, providing students with the opportunity to begin working at XLCC or offer an opportunity to re-skill individuals from different backgrounds.
The apprentice jointers will take part in an 8-week jointing course in Germany, where they will be working on medium and high voltage cable samples. Upon return to the UK, the job training and certifications will take place over a 3-year period which will involve using test lengths of cable to progress with internal testing competencies ahead of full-scale production of XLCC’s 525kV DC submarine factory joints.
XLCC will pay the National Living Wage to all its apprentices upon contract initiation. As demand for cable-jointers increases in the years ahead, XLCC is working to partner with Glasgow Caledonian University to create routes onto the XLCC Graduate Apprenticeship courses in Electrical Power Engineering.
Alan Mathers, Project Director at XLCC, commented:
At XLCC we are committed to investing in the next generation of North Ayrshire workers. We welcome our partnership with Ayrshire College and believe that we can achieve great things with their support. We are putting together a workforce fit for the future and it is important we lay the groundwork to allow a generation of students to grow up and recognise STEM subjects and their intersection with renewable energy is something that is fundamentally important to our future industries and way of life. We look forward to our continued relationship with Ayrshire College as we begin to see our first 12 apprentices join our team.”
Patricia Gibson, MP of North Ayrshire and Arran, said:
Following the award of planning permission for XLCC to develop the cable factory at Hunterston I am delighted to see the recruitment of their first employees towards their commitment of 900 permanent roles in cable manufacturing in North Ayrshire. There is already a huge and growing demand for HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) cable for Interconnector projects, Grid Reinforcement projects and to bring Scotwind offshore renewable power back to the shore. These first roles, which are part of a 3-year certification program, shows the confidence that XLCC can successfully manufacture in Scotland and generate skilled employment opportunities for local people.”
Kenneth Gibson, MSP of Cunninghame North, said:
It is very encouraging to see XLCC recruiting the first employees towards their direct commitment in creating 900 permanent, full-time jobs at Hunterston. I am also aware that XLCC has been successful in obtaining MoU (memorandum of understanding) letters from several Scotwind developers for the potential future supply of HVDC cable which covers 11.6GW of renewable power. In addition to supplying interconnector projects which will bring power to the UK from abroad the HVDC cable supply from Hunterston can accelerate the connection of Scotwind projects to allow the transmission of renewable power from Scottish developments back to the shore.”