A landmark partnership between RenewableUK and Energy and Utility Skills, the skills organisation for the UK’s energy and utilities industries, is being launched today to create the training and assessment standards needed to meet the UK’s renewable workforce demand.
The move aims to provide the renewables sector with a means to develop national occupational standards, apprenticeship standards and frameworks, alongside other short course and modular training programmes and assessments for new entrants and to enable the up-skilling and re-skilling of workers already in employment.
The offshore wind industry alone is expected to require an additional 70,000 workers by 2030, with a particular need around electrical and mechanical engineering, project management, health and safety, planning and consenting, high voltage cabling, welding and fabrication, and SCADA jobs (supervisory control and data acquisition – who oversee software and data monitoring on control systems on wind farms and other energy and utility installations).
Existing, international standards such as those developed by the Global Wind Organisation and which are already recognised by industry will remain central in the development of UK specific approaches.
The new partnership will support delivery of the strategic priorities for people and skills, outlined by the Offshore Wind Industry Council in its upcoming skills strategy due to be published in 2024.
The alliance between RenewableUK, which represents some 500 organisations across the renewables sector and Energy and Utility Skills, which represents all major asset owners in the gas, power and water industries, will see each organisation gain representation on the others’ skills governance groups and support delivery of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and other strategic ambitions for skills in the energy and utilities sector.
Both organisations are working alongside Government and other industry bodies to develop a Green Skills Action Plan that aims to capitalise on net-zero and energy security objectives in a way that maximises job creation and opportunities in the green economy. This step cements the commitment of both organisations to drive economic growth and support thousands of new green jobs for young people, as well as existing workers from a diverse range of backgrounds right across the UK.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Dan McGrail said:
“The renewable energy sector is crying out for thousands of new people to join our growing industry. But to achieve this, we need the qualifications and training, entry routes and career pathways to attract and then retain and develop the workforce, whether from our schools and colleges or from carbon intensive sectors like oil and gas. This exciting partnership provides the sector with a means of delivering these interventions through Energy & Utility Skills’ considerable experience and expertise across the energy and utilities sector.”
Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, Phil Beach, said:
“The partnership between Energy & Utility Skills and RenewableUK is both timely and critical to ensuring that we have the skilled workforce that we need to grow the renewable energy sector. We face a strategic workforce and skills challenge, as the competition for talent increases to meet the demands of delivering net zero, environmental improvement and wider infrastructure projects. Against this backdrop, we are committed to ensuring that we attract and retain the people we need to join this exciting industry. And we are equally determined to ensure the development of high-quality qualifications, apprenticeships and industry schemes that enable a diverse range of talent to enjoy a career with real purpose. I very much look forward to working with RenewableUK and industry to make this a reality.”
Industry Sponsor for the OWIC People and Skills workstream, Zoe Keeton, from Developer RWE said:
“From an industry perspective, this partnership between RenewableUK and Energy & Utility Skills signifies a step change in our ability to create the qualifications, standards and training required to attract and retain the workforce, with the high quality technical and transferable skills, that we will be able to draw on right across the supply chain in order to deliver the pipeline of projects in the UK up to 2030 and beyond.”