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TACKLING THE SKILLS SHORTAGE IN OFFSHORE WIND

TACKLING THE SKILLS SHORTAGE IN OFFSHORE WIND

09 Oct 17:00 by Alejandro Rodriguez Garcia

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In 2012 RenewableUK and Energy & Utility Skills issued a report on the rapid rate of growth within the renewables industry and the potential jobs created because of it.  The message to the renewables sector was stark, ‘the supply of appropriate skills to the labour market needs to ramp up rapidly over the coming years to meet rising demand’.

Two years on and the UK is now the world leader in Offshore Wind Energy, providing around eight terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity annually, this is equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 2 million homes.

Labelled by RenewableUK, the trade body for the UK wind and marine renewables sector, as one of the key ‘growth sectors’, the offshore wind industry, along with wave and tidal, has seen a 74% increase in jobs since 2010, now directly employing over 18,000 people full time.  This figure is equivalent to three times the number of people employed in the UK coal industry (5,005 in June 2013 according to DECC).

To ensure that these growth sectors keep the wind behind them, it is vital that, as RenewableUK and EU Skills highlighted in 2012, the industry has a skilled work force which meets its increasing demands. 

One solution is to tap into a well of already skilled individuals who possess the very skills required to work in roles within the onshore and offshore Renewable Energy sector, ex-military personnel.

With 18,500 Service leavers coming on to the civilian job market each year, including highly trained engineers, technicians and trainers, these individuals are a perfect solution for the skills shortages in the renewables sector.   With the right training, skills developed within the forces can be easily adapted to meet the needs of this rapidly growing sector. 

One company that has set about encouraging and enabling this transference of skills is leading wind energy safety training provider, Safety Technology Ltd.  With a vast history in the Wind Energy sector, the RenewableUK and Global Wind Organisation (GWO) accredited training provider has developed a three week programme which equips ex-military personnel with the safety qualifications required to work on offshore wind farms.

Their Certificate in Safety in Offshore Wind is an accredited Level 3 programme which can be used in conjunction with Enhanced Learning Credits, and is the first of its kind.  This new training programme provides Service leavers with industry required training, including RenewableUK and Global Wind Industry (GWO) courses, and is delivered in one package from locations across the UK.

For more information on this new training programme, contact Safety Technology Ltd directly on (01873) 840 036, or visit their website:www.safetytechnology.co.uk/militaryleavertraining.html.