Offshore wind is moving fast and the workforce behind it is developing rapidly. Global Wind Organisation is at the heart of workforce development with a mission to ensure an injury-free working environment in wind. We spoke to GWO chief executive Jakob Lau Holst to ask him about the offshore wind industry’s key workforce development issues in 2021 and for some insights on what to expect in 2022. Read the text from the series “Key offshore wind stories 2021/2022” on BalticWind.EU.

“When looking back on 2021, there was some hugely encouraging news,” says Jakob.  

“One exciting development in 2021 was the Port of Virginia, USA where a 20 million dollar grant to fund improvements to the Portsmouth Marine Terminal was announced. This will enable it become a staging area that supports offshore wind projects all along the US Eastern Seaboard. A GWO certified training provider, the first servicing this market in North America, is right at the centre of this game-changing development”.  

Jakob Holst continues: “In November 2021, one of our founder members, Vestas, renewed its commitment to implement GWO standards for its entire global workforce of 10,000+ directly employed technicians as well as sub-contractors”.

Apart from GWO, other wind industry organisations marked important progress through the year. G+ Global Offshore Wind launched its 2021 annual report and for the first time their membership reported fewer than 100 recordable injuries, decreasing the industry’s recordable injury rate to 3.75, representing a 32% reduction compared to 2020.  

What should the offshore wind industry expect in 2022?

“From a safety training perspective, markets are very much aligned to sectoral growth. Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, and the United States are all buoyant at the moment. But wherever wind technicians need safety training upskilling GWO standards are open, available and ready for training providers”, Jakob comments.

The Global Wind Organization is a non-profit organization founded by wind turbine manufacturers and owners. Members strive to provide an injury-free work environment in the wind turbine industry by establishing common international standards for safety training and emergency procedures. Currently, GWO members include Acciona, Avangrid, CGN Wind Power, CRRC, Cubico Sustainable Investments, Enel Green Power, Enercon, Envision, Equinor, GE Renewable Energy, Goldwind, Iberdrola, The Nordex Group, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, Shanghai Electric, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, SSE, Vattenfall, and Vestas.