EDP Renewables and Vestas launch a new edition of ‘Keep it local’

Though this project, both companies will grant 30 scholarships to subsidise enrolment on the Wind Farm Technical Maintenance course organised by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE).

EDP Renewables (Euronext: EDPR), the fourth-largest renewable energy company in the world, and Vestas, the market leader in the manufacture, sale, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, have launched the second round of their ‘Keep it local’ program with the mission of driving employability amongst young people living in rural areas in Spain. Following on the success of the first edition, where one of every three students found a job in the field, this year 30 scholarships will be granted for the Wind Farm Technical Maintenance course organised by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE).

‘Keep it local’ is an initiative addressed for young people living in areas of low population density with low employment rates, with the aim of putting their talent into practice to help develop renewable energy projects in rural areas and improve their employability. The program provides them access to a working environment close to their home while also positioning them as the main drivers of the rural economy.
Anyone aged between 18 and 30 years old and living in an area where both companies have a presence, can apply. Other requirements involve having completed compulsory Spanish secondary education as well as not having received this scholarship previously. The course itself is made up of 181 hours of training covering both theoretical and practical aspects, with theory being taught online (over the course of six weeks) and work experience occurring on site on a wind farm (two days).

This initiative, which has an international reach, provides young people at risk of labour exclusion, the opportunity to work in a sector that employs over 27,500 people in Spain and that has more than 1,200 wind farms in over 1,000 Spanish towns, being the cutting-edge technology driving the Spanish electrical network. There is also the added benefit of generating wealth for the areas that have been so greatly affected by the rural depopulation situation in Spain.

In the words of Duarte Bello, EDP Renewables COO for Europe and Latin America: “We are a company committed to sustainability and we aim to promote the well-being and development of the communities in which we operate. We were pleased with the results of the first edition of ‘Keep it local’, in which 30% of the participants managed to get a job in the sector, with EDPR being one of the employer companies. Therefore, this year we have decided to increase the number of scholarships to be granted so we can carry on supporting young people who want to work in the future-focused industry that is renewables”. 

Íñigo Echeverría, Senior Vice President and Head of Operation and Maintenance of Vestas Mediterránea, stated: “In Spain we face a serious demographic challenge and companies must get involved to provide solutions to the phenomenon of rural depopulation, which has a wide range of social, economic and environmental consequences. It is precisely in various communities where this phenomenon is most severe, that there are wind farms installed that must be operated and maintained. Therefore, through this training programme, we want to give young people the opportunity to live and work close to their hometowns, without having to move to the big cities”.

Those interested in participating should apply prior to 4 April 2022 by filling in the form available at https://keepitlocal-program.com. General queries or contact concerning problems with submissions should be sent to keepitlocal@edp.com. Once the term for submissions has closed, a panel made up of EDPR and Vestas representatives will select the scholarship recipients in line with the criteria set out for the competition.