During the Business Hive Questions event held last week in Grimsby, UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) parliamentary candidate Victoria Ayling and Dr Vicky Dunn from the Green Party had a heated discussion about local content in the UK offshore wind industry, especially when it comes to Grimsby.
“The Humber is being used as a base to put these [wind turbines] up offshore yet only a handful of jobs are going to locals. Despite huge unemployment in Grimsby, workers are being imported from Europe to fill jobs denied to locals,” read UKIP’s flyer, distributed in Grimsby durning the event.
These statements were vigorously criticized by Green Party’s Dunn, whose standpoint was backed by Maf Smith from RenewableUK.
“The UK offshore wind sector is providing jobs for British workers today with 90 per cent of jobs filled by UK citizens, and the industry is committed to continuing that trend. Recent supply chain developments mean that kids growing up today won’t have to make the choice between leaving home and having a career in renewables. Politicians of all parties should back this growth sector for the UK,” Smith was quoted by Grimsby Telegraph as saying.
Namely, according to the latest RenewableUK statistics, the county’s wind and other marine industries employ 91% UK citizens in average. In addition, Dunn said that she asked a few people from the industry do they consider the claims from the flyer to be true and they told her that the situation is the opposite of what is claimed by Ayling.
Image: E.ON (Illustration)