More than 500 students registered for a 3-day student programme that aims to accelerate the entry of interested students into the wind energy workforce at the WindEurope Annual Event 2024. It’s an important action taken by WindEurope as according to their data by 2030 the wind sector will employ over 500,000 people in Europe, up from 300,000 jobs today. 

The growing importance of discussing the shortage of people for work in the sector has been evident for some time. Under the WindEurope umbrella, it is now starting to take the form of real visible initiatives. For the first time this year, the WindEurope Annual Event student programme ran over all three conference days. 500 Spanish and international students joined wind industry representatives in Bilbao. In different learning and networking sessions the students could ask young and experienced industry professionals about chances and career paths in the wind industry.

In panels and discussion rounds students learned about the talents and skills required in the wind sector. Working in wind energy is not only about manufacturing turbines. From marine biologist to project planner and from offshore diver to steel structure specialist or software manager – there is a wide range of jobs in offshore and onshore. It’s not just for academics and graduates with higher education. The wind sector offers opportunities for students with non-academic background and non-academic training programmes. During a tour of the exhibition floor the students met different wind energy companies and learned about the latest technologies and innovations in onshore and offshore wind.

Today the wind sector employs 300,000 people. In less than 7 years we will need to create more than 200,000 new jobs – and find the talents to fill these positions. Re-skilling from other sectors such as coal mining and oil & gas will play a big role, but students and younger generations are an important part of the needed talent pool. They are the future of our workforce that will drive the energy transition.

said Oliver Wykes, WindEurope’s Chief Operating Officer.

Also deserving high praise is the careers and skills page launched by WindEurope. It is a pretty robust site offering both educational material and the opportunity to get an initial idea of the opportunities that a career in the wind sector offers. The site also lists courses of study and training that are currently available in Europe. As announced, the website will be continuously developed.

Finally, it is also worth mentioning a new initiative in the form of the Skills and Education Working Group that held its first-ever meeting in Bilbao. Composed of industry experts the working group will oversee WindEurope activities on Skills and Education such as partnering with national authorities, teaming up with the wider renewable energy sector and
creating dedicated campaigns to attract young talents.