Dear Orkney News,
I was excited to read about the recently announced HIAL-lead sustainable aviation programme. This is another example of the innovative, and visionary approach that local partners are taking in the world of low-carbon technology. Long may this continue. (Low Carbon Flight Test Centre For Kirkwall Airport)
We should recognise both the positive step towards combating the climate crisis, and the socio economic impact such a project can have on the wider community. Identifying supply chain opportunities and the ambitious goal of developing a Highlands and Islands sustainable aviation sector all have great potential for the county and region.
I want to add my voice to the drive to ensure renewable energy projects such as these create pathways for young people to make the most from the opportunities presented. The visionary approach to funding technological projects needs to be matched with a vision for local young people. Helping young Orcadians via apprenticeships, support for sector-specific university study, or other programmes which train them for the jobs of tomorrow needs to be encouraged. Specialist technicians, engineers, pilots, or commercial experts can be nurtured through projects like these which will feed into the mainstream industries of the future.
Developing a highly skilled workforce now to meet the demands of local industrial technologies of the future will give young Orcadians a competitive advantage and create well-paid, exciting, sustainable jobs that will encourage more young people to stay in the county.
So, while I avidly welcome the announcement of the sustainable aviation programme, I remind local leaders not to assume young people can make use of these opportunities without support. I can assure readers that the Orkney Greens will try to ensure that innovative technological projectsare matched by ground-breaking opportunities for Orkney’s young people.
Kristopher Leask, Orkney