A GREENPEACE ship arrives in the region tomorrow, as the global campaign group continues the second leg of its ‘Just Transition Tour’.

Campaigners will set up a 42-ft wind turbine blade on the deck of the famous Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior III ship as it berths in docks in Sunderland.

Oil/gas workers and politicians will be invited to sign the blade in support of the “just transition” to renewable energy campaign.

It calls for industry workers to be given the opportunity to access sustainable jobs in sectors like offshore wind and decommissioning.

Greenpeace is calling on the Government to take action to deliver the transition, or risk abandoning a whole workforce, as was seen with coal miners and shipbuilders in past generations.

Mel Evans, head of Greenpeace UK’s oil campaign said: “We stand in solidarity with oil and gas workers, who are being ignored by politicians.

“Offshore workers have powered our economy through some really difficult times and have plenty of transferable skills that will be vital to our transition to renewable energy.”

Last year Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Platform, surveyed 1,383 oil and gas workers about their views on the industry, job security and working conditions.

It cited the case of a 45-year-old former oil and gas sector electrical technician, from Tyne and Wear, who they chose not to identify to protect his anonymity.

Having paid to repeat his qualifications to enable him to access jobs in offshore wind, he then found it difficult to find work in the sector.

He said: “There are a lot of trades that could slot immediately into a wind farm and there are people who are really capable of progressing in wind power.

“Workers in mechanical, electrical, project management and so on will have no problem fitting in.

“The skills are just right and the Government should offer grants, as they do for people coming out of the military.”

Tomorrow’s North East visit follows a protests at Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, and wind turbine signing sessions in Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee.

The arrival of the 190-ft yacht on the Wear marks the tour’s first stop in England, before it sails on to Edinburgh for a further Just Transition campaign event.


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