Hornsea

Project brief

Hornsea is the world’s largest offshore windfarm, which boasts a footprint of 400 square kilometres and is which is located in the North Sea, 120km off the Humberside coast. The multi-billion pound project will be completed in 2021, when it will power one million homes in the UK.

Mane is the largest agency on project, currently supplying no less than four companies. GeoSea and Tideway, which are subsidiaries of DEME group, are working on underwater export cabling from turbines to substation to land.

It is also supplying its most long-standing client, JDR Cable Systems, on the job. Mane is the company’s largest recruitment supplier globally and the brands have worked in partnership for six years.

Finally, Mane is also Semco Maritime’s principle supplier on the project. Semco holds the electrical engineering contract across the job. The consultancy was approached about these works in March 2018 and has been supplying talent since April. Currently Mane is providing around 30 electricians to site platforms and substations.

The breadth of clients that Mane is working with on this project is indicative of its network, experience and reputation within the market. Across the job, the consultancy is currently providing c.100 professionals including rigging staff, health and safety specialists, lifting supervisors and vessel crews to manage the instillation of the monopoles.

Mane first started supplying talent to the project through JDR, after which point Mane began to explore other contractors on project. They won additional contracts after selling in their experience of the project’s specific induction process.

Mane now offers advice and consultancy around processes at Hornsea to a number of clients. While the skills required for this type of project are relatively niche, Mane has a solid talent pool locally in Newcastle and the surrounding area of Tyne and Wear.

The biggest challenge is getting the right people, at the right time, for the right price. It’s a candidate-driven market, but, due to Mane’s extensive network, it is able to secure and deliver the quality and volume of talent that large-scale projects such as this require. Thanks to Mane’s reputation, many of these contractors come from word-of-mouth referrals. Even in a candidate-tight market, Mane rarely has to advertise roles.

Despite this, there are certain skills which are particularly difficult to source, such as cabling staff. Currently, there is high demand and short supply of professionals qualified to work with high and medium voltage. There is, however, a rich supply of cable mates.

In light of the current market, Mane is currently working with JDR to develop and deliver apprenticeship programmes to upskill this talent pool and build future pipelines of more senior level skills, with a view to the client taking these individuals on a permanent basis once qualified. Together with the client, Mane is increasing the industry’s talent pool. What’s more, ten staff who Mane initially supplied on a contract basis for this project now have permanent roles with JDR, further indicating the strength of the client relationship. 

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