EU wind industry in skills shortage crisis

The European wind industry faces a severe skills shortage of around 5,500 appropriately qualified staff per year, according to the EU's Wind Energy Technology Platform (TPWind).

An upcoming report, based on research by the renewable energy consultancy GL Garrad Hassan will also warn that this shortfall could climb to 18,000 by 2030, which is almost 5% of the entire wind industry workforce.

GL Garrad Hassan chairman Andrew Garrad said: “There is a real risk of a shortage of suitably skilled workers. Well over half of the shortfall in new workers in 2030 could be in operations and maintenance. Engineers are in desperately short supply and the problem will get far worse unless action is taken.”

The full report will be published later this year but its initial recommendations were presented today at the Eropean Wind Energy Association’s 2013 Annual Event.

Among the recommendations was the need to emphasise science, technology, engineering and maths skills in vocational training, increase the number of graduates of wind energy generalist courses and to further the harmonisation of vocational education and training across the EU.

TPWind chairman Henning Kruse added: “Targeted training courses must be created and graduate numbers from those courses increased, so that the sector can meet its staff needs and continue to provide jobs and revenue in today’s tough economic climate.”

Conor McGlone

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