Wind Energy Employers Support Transition to Renewables

Source: 12/2/2020, Location: Europe

Global Wind Organisation is launching a new programme to support the Just Transition, helping skilled workers to move from other sectors such as oil and gas into renewables.

The GWO Safety Training Access Programme recognises complementary skills and knowledge in the fields of basic safety, allowing workers seeking new opportunities in other parts of the energy sector to fast track onto GWO’s refresher courses, if they have already undergone verifiable training in their previous work.

Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation explains: “While the wind power industry grows, employers are looking to hire the very best people to work on their sites. We’re marking out a clear path that makes the transition easy and safe for the individual worker, while providing value to the wind industry.”

Different industries have their own unique risks and therefore basic safety training in wind will be a new experience for most people.

“The oil and gas basic safety training standard BOSIET is only 15% comparable to GWO’s basic safety training,” adds Jakob. “But there’s such a huge demand for skilled people to make the switch and it’s their experience as engineers and electricians we want. Safety training is a vital passport to working in the renewable energy sector so we’re launching the Access Programme to give that little bit more assistance. Before, the only pre-requisite to being allowed onto a refresher course, was an existing GWO record. This gives people another potential way in.”

The programme will have particular relevance to workers in and around Europe's offshore wind industry, where transition from oil and gas is a key policy priority for governments.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Melanie Onn said: “We’re going to see a huge expansion in offshore wind over the course of this decade, quadrupling our current capacity by 2030. That means we’ll need a massive influx of highly-skilled UK workers to build vital new energy infrastructure. Former oil and gas workers offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field. This new programme will ensure the skills they already have are fully recognised and that we supplement the training they’ve already undergone with a new level of specialist understanding on how to work safely on offshore and onshore wind farms”.

The Access Programme will be launched in April 2021. In the lead up to launch, GWO is reviewing other training standards to compare them to GWO courses and see if any other skills are transferable too.

“When the Programme is implemented, you will be able to show a valid training certificate from another course to a GWO training provider and if everything checks out, you'll be fast tracked onto the relevant GWO refresher course,” adds Jakob.

The GWO Basic Safety Training Standard (BST) is a requirement made by wind energy employers as a pre-requisite for their own staff and contractors before they are allowed on site. A valid BST certificate lasts 24 months, before the training must be refreshed. Some GWO Refresher courses are slightly condensed in certain areas and overall represent a shorter training time and cost for the participant.

More than 40 training providers teach BST courses across the UK and over 370 around the world. The standard consists of four modules: First Aid, Fire Awareness, Manual Handling and Working at Heights. Workers going offshore are also required to complete the Sea Survival modules.

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