Offshore wind is growing ‘exponentially’ and will be a major driver of the energy transition across the world, with 51 GW of new offshore installations globally by 2024 and a need for more than 77,000 Global Wind Organisation (GWO)-trained workers, or 2.5 persons per MW per project, in six emerging markets alone
The first report of its kind, Powering the Future: Global Offshore Wind Workforce Outlook 2020-2024 report provides a qualitative analysis of the workforce training needs required to fulfil offshore market forecasts in North America, China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea.
Published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and conducted in collaboration with Renewables Consulting Group, the report combines global market forecasts with local training needs to build a roadmap for offshore wind industries in emerging markets.
Recruiting and training offshore wind workers will not be without its problems, however, and the report highlights bottlenecks for training such as a lack of training centres, standard familiarity and risk of training standards being perceived as ‘imposed’ and not reflecting local content.
“Having a trained workforce based on GWO standards is necessary to ensure health and safety of workers, secure the long-term sustainability of the sector, create thousands of local jobs and power the global energy transition,” said GWEC.
In addition, said GWEC and GWO, the Covid-19 pandemic will pose a new challenge to workforce and turbine supply chains to reach the world’s offshore wind ambitions.
GWEC chief executive Ben Backwell said, “The appetite for offshore wind is strong with investors and policymakers alike as more and more ambitious targets are put in place, but we need a trained workforce ready to realise these goals.
“The findings in this report are an important tool to match global market trends with local training needs.
“These markets are moving faster than we have ever seen before, and it is crucial that workforce training keeps up to build a good reputation for the sector and ensure growth opportunities for years to come.”
GWO chief executive Jakob Lau Holst said, “Having a GWO-trained workforce is often the missing piece of the puzzle when considering a new offshore wind project in any given market, but this should be seen as a top priority in nascent markets to secure their long-term growth and create thousands of local jobs.
“The offshore wind industry needs to be a leader in health and safety to attract the best talent and ensure the sustainability of the workforce, having standardised training is the most effective way to accomplish this.
“GWO already has training centres in China, the US and Taiwan, but we will need to ramp up training centres in these regions drastically to train the necessary workforce of almost 78,000 people.
“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, GWO is also rolling out digital training platforms to ensure continuity in training and continue driving forward the global energy transition.”