Demand for recruitment and training of wind turbine technicians will increase by 33% over the next five years if the world is to provide the wind power capacity required to meet net-zero targets.
The industry calls for more investment in standardised training to attract new talent, ensure workforce safety and build sustainable careers. Rapid growth in onshore and offshore wind capacity is generating huge demand for skilled workforce, a new report reveals today. New figures from Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) show that 569,000 technicians will be needed to build and maintain a global onshore and offshore wind fleet that will increase in size by 67% by 2026.
With rapid growth of the wind energy capacity at the heart of the world’s plans to achieve net zero by 2050, it is vital that governments enact policies that support this expanding workforce. New capacity, modern grids and a just transition all require a strong and sustainable workforce at their foundation. This skilled, modern workforce will be a great reward for countries advancing with their energy transition plans.
Almost 30,000 new technicians are expected to join the global wind workforce every year. But the Global Wind Workforce Outlook 2022-2026 highlights an urgent need for faster growth in industry standard safety and technical training capacity to meet the forecast gaps in worker supply.
With 119,000 wind technicians holding a valid industry-standard GWO training certificate by the end of 2021, the report demonstrates a substantial opportunity for up to 450,000 technicians to complete safety and technical training during the next five years.
“There are enormous and transformative job creation opportunities brought by wind power to countries around the world and this report reminds us that for the industry to grow sustainably, a rapidly expanding workforce must be given the opportunity to work safely, with training according to industry best practice, so they can do their jobs with competence and live healthy lives”, says Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC.
The findings of this year’s third annual Global Wind Workforce Outlook are based upon the outputs of GWO’s workforce forecasting model and GWEC’s global wind market forecasts.
The number of technicians that will require wind industry training to construct and maintain the global wind fleet will increase 33% from 426,700 in 2021 to 568,800 in 2026.
The number of new technicians is expected to increase by 28,400 on average per year from 2022 to 2026, resulting in a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for trained wind technicians in the construction, installation, operations and maintenance segments of the supply chain from 2021 to 2026.
GWO’s forecasts indicate 142,100 new recruits will be needed over the coming five-year period. The additional workforce will be recruited from full-time education or from people moving into wind from other sectors.
“We are delighted to unveil this third edition of the GWO/GWEC Global Wind Workforce Outlook 2022-2026,” says Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC. “It focuses on the backbone of the industry: its workers.
“There are enormous and transformative job creation opportunities brought by wind power to countries around the world and this report reminds us that for the industry to grow sustainably, a rapidly expanding workforce must be given the opportunity to work safely, with training according to industry best practice, so they can do their jobs with competence and live healthy lives.”
“Over the next five years, the industry has a clear need for increased availability of recognizable safety training globally and in nine selected markets in particular,” says Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of GWO. “For a smooth transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable future, it is imperative that safety training keeps apace with wind industry growth. I hope this report will help to build confidence for investors and policy makers by forecasting steady and sustainable industry growth, trigger increased awareness of the tremendous opportunity to foster business and job creation, and put workforce safety to the forefront of their agenda.”
On October 4th, the GWO Safety & Training Forum brings together the GWO community for the “GWO Safety & Training Awards,” which were created to focus attention on the teams of instructors and support staff who make safety in wind energy possible. The “GWO Safety & Training Awards” is the first program of its kind in the world to recognize the skills and impact of training providers and instructors on the safety of workers in the wind energy sector.
We also encourage you to revisit the interview with Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of GWO, that we conducted this April at the WindEurope Annual Event 2022 in Bilbao, Spain: