The wind energy industry needs more than half a million technicians over the next five years to keep up with the rapid growth in onshore and offshore wind capacity.
That’s according to a new report from Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which reveals 569,000 technicians will be needed to build and maintain a global fleet of onshore and offshore wind fleet that is expected to increase by 67% by 2026.
The report suggests a 33% rise in recruitment and training needs is required to deliver the wind energy capacity required to meet global net zero goals.
While almost 30,000 new technicians are expected to join the global wind workforce every year, the report highlights an “urgent need for faster growth” in industry standard safety and technical training capacity to meet the forecast gaps in worker supply.
By the end of 2021, around 119,000 wind technicians had a valid industry-standard GWO training certificate, with “substantial opportunity” seen for up to 450,000 technicians to complete safety and technical training by 2026.
The report’s forecasts indicate around 142,100 new recruits will be needed over five years, with additional workforce to be recruited from full-time education or from people moving into the wind industry from other sectors.
GWO and GWEC believe it is “vital” for governments to enact policies that support the expanding workforce as new capacity, modern grids and a just transition all require a “strong and sustainable workforce” at their foundation, supporting global countries with their energy transition plans.
Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of GWO said: “Over the next five years, the industry has a clear need for increased availability of recognisable safety training globally and in nine selected markets in particular.
“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 policymakers 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.”