The first apprentices join Morlais tidal energy project

August 1, 2022

UK social enterprise Menter Môn has welcomed the first apprentices at the Morlais tidal energy project located offshore Anglesey in Wales, as work gets underway.

With all eight recruits from north Wales, Menter Môn said it is determined to deliver on its original pledge and keep the benefits of the project local.

“It is great news that Morlais is already delivering local jobs and providing these opportunities for young people. This is why we are determined to take on this project and it is exactly what we set out to do,” said Gerallt Llewelyn, director with Morlais.

“With these skills in high demand, apprenticeship like this will help train and develop local talent and will put these youngsters on the right track to develop their future careers in construction and engineering.”

Onshore construction is already underway at the project, in partnership with civil engineering company Jones Bros.

Jones Bros’ apprenticeship scheme has produced nearly 50 per cent of its current workforce and the business has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years, which is one of the reasons they were successful in bidding for the Morlais contract, Menter Môn said.

Eryl Roberts, contracts director for Jones Bros, stated: “We are delighted to be in a position to offer these opportunities to this group of local young people. It’s part of our ethos as a business and we hope that it’s only the beginning as we create further opportunities as the work on Morlais progresses.”

To remind, in December 2021, the Welsh Government gave its consent for the development of the Morlais tidal stream energy project as the first part of the consenting process, which enabled the start of construction for onshore elements in preparation for offshore activities.

Accordingly, Natural Resources Wales granted a marine license that will allow tidal turbines to be installed.

This March, the project secured €37.6 million of funding in what is likely to be the last large grant from the EU’s regional funding program for the scheme.

The consented area for the installation and commercial demonstration of multiple arrays of tidal energy devices at Morlais will be suitable for a maximum installed capacity of 240 MW.

Offshore work is expected to begin in 2023, with the first turbines set to generate electricity in 2024.