The European wind industry faces a severe skills shortage of around 5,500 appropriately qualified staff per year. This shortfall could climb to 18,000 by 2030 – nearly 5% of the entire wind industry workforce – if numbers of suitable workers do not increase.
The warning comes in a report by the EU’s Wind Energy Technology Platform (TPWind), based on research by renewable energy consultancy GL Garrad Hassan.
“At a time of rising unemployment, it makes no sense that the wind industry cannot find the skilled personnel it urgently needs,” comments Jacopo Moccia, Head of Policy Analysis at the European Wind Energy Association.
“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,” says Andrew Garrad, Chairman of GL Garrad Hassan.
The recommendations from the report include:
* Emphasise Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (‘STEM’) skills in vocational training;
* Increase industry input into academic courses;
* More graduates of wind energy generalist courses;
* The harmonisation of Vocational Education and Training across the EU;
* Greater emphasis on training in operations and maintenance.