Lębork’s district council is the initiator of a PLN 12,000,000 project to establish the first Industry Center dedicated to Wind Energy in Poland. Working with industry leaders such as the ORLEN Group, the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society (PTMEW) and Windhunter Academy, they have launched an initiative to create a pioneering wind energy competence center in the heart of Lębork. November 27, 2023 marked the official launch of the project, with the participation of its contractors and invited representatives of local government and the wind energy industry.

We are very pleased to be able to implement this project with our Partners. It’s important for young people to be educated in specialties that are the future. – The head of Lębork District, Alicja Zajączkowska, praises the venture. This is an opportunity for students who plan to tie their professional future to the growing renewable energy sector, gaining professional stability and high-level income.

The Industry Skills Centers, the brainchild of the Ministry of Education and Science, aim to foster collaboration between industry stakeholders – employers and higher and vocational education institutions for building a new generation of teachers and professionals to meet the changing needs of the industry. Over the next few years, 120 such centers will be established in Poland – each specializing in a different profession. Lębork will focus on wind energy, a sector that has seen significant growth in onshore potential and is poised to launch Poland’s first offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea.

Karolina Jastrzebska, CEO of Windhunter Academy, underscores the pressing need to prepare qualified personnel: Demand in the labor market is very high. We see this from employers, the companies we train every day, who are struggling to find qualified personnel. She believes that the Industry Skills Center will improve the education process and create new sources of funding for the industry’s development in Poland.

As a partner in the project, Windhunter Academy brings its 14 years of experience in education and the necessary expertise related to developing a cadre for the wind energy sector. This project is distinguished by its two-pronged approach – disseminating knowledge to both young people and adults, including vocational teachers. This approach allows for the development of specialized skills on a broader scale than before.

We are pleased that together with our partners we will be able to formalize a profession that has existed in Poland for more than 15 years, but has not yet had systematization in the Integrated Education System as stressed by Jastrzebska . The establishment of a Skilles Center for the wind power industry in Lębork will introduce a new profession – wind turbine technician, which the industry in Poland has been seeking for years.

The project to establish an Industry Skills Center in Lębork, specializing in wind energy, is great news for the offshore wind industry. We need to prepare professionals who will have the necessary competence to handle all the infrastructure related to new offshore investments as soon as possible. This is a great initiative, as time is really short and the project is most needed, as ORLEN Group’s first investment in the Baltic will be launched as early as 2026. – said Robert Nowicki, CEO of ORLEN Neptun.

ORLEN Neptun is responsible for implementing offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea. In addition to the construction of new offshore wind farms, the company will launch Poland’s first, and one of Europe’s most modern, Installation Terminal at the Port of Swinoujscie in late 2024 and early 2025. Its task will be to unload, load and store components used in the construction of offshore wind farms.

PTMEW, with its extensive experience and influence in the offshore wind sector, is playing a key role in the project. Acting as a substantive partner, PTMEW will contribute to defining the scope and program of vocational training, acting as a Certifying Authority for the program implemented by the Center, providing substantive support in the process of preparing the training program.

The establishment of a Skills Center for Wind Energy in Lębork, with the support of PTMEW, promises to fill the skills gap in the offshore wind energy sector in Poland. The center’s educational efforts will culminate in the certification of graduates, confirming that they have the specialized qualifications needed to work in the construction and operation of offshore wind farms.

Collaboration between the Lębork County Council, industry leaders and education partners underscores a visionary approach to addressing the needs of a rapidly growing sector. Lębork is putting itself at the forefront of wind energy education, and the initiative itself has the potential to shape the future workforce and make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the region and the country.

Source: Windhunter Academy