The renewable energy multinational corporations have celebrated the closure of the II Edition of Keep it Local, the program that has already offered more than half a hundred scholarships to youngsters living in rural areas.
EDP Renewables (Euronext: EDPR), the world’s fourth largest wind energy producer, and Vestas, a leading company in the manufacture, sale, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, have successfully closed the II Edition of ‘Keep it Local’, through which both companies awarded scholarships to young people living in rural areas of Spain. This opportunity allowed participants to take the Wind Farm Operation and Maintenance Technician course offered by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE), free of charge.
The initiative, which aims to promote training and employment generation for young people to tackle rural depopulation in Spain, has offered more than half a hundred scholarships in its first two editions.
The closing event of this II Edition was attended by executives from both companies and the AEE: Rocío Sicre, General Director EDP Renewables Spain; Íñigo Echevarría, VP Service for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa of Vestas; and Juan Virgilio Márquez, CEO of the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE). They discussed the challenges of rural depopulation, the procurement needs of the wind energy sector, and the objectives achieved in this year’s edition.
The applications for the II Edition of ‘Keep it Local’ have mainly focused on Andalusia, Castilla La Mancha, Asturias, Castilla y León, Valencia, The Basque Country and Galicia. Among them, 30 people were selected to take the course free of charge thanks to the funding of EDPR and Vestas.
In words of Rocío Sicre, General Director EDP Renewables Spain: “We are very pleased with the positive response that the second edition of ‘Keep it Local’ has had. After the excellent results of last year, in which 30% of the participants got a job within the field, this year we have been able to train more young people to work in this growing industry that is renewable energies, thus boosting employment opportunities close to their homes. We will continue to develop the program in Spain and will work to expand the program to other markets”.
Íñigo Echevarría, VP Service for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa of Vestas, added: “Wind energy is not only key in the fight against climate change, but a source of sustainable local employment that contributes to the enrichment of rural areas. We are proud that an initiative like ‘Keep it Local’ is achieving this level of impact and success in terms of attendance.”
Finally, Juan Virgilio Márquez, CEO of AEE, stated: “In Spain, the wind energy sector employs more than 30,000 people, a figure that could exceed 67,000 jobs in 2030. The training of wind professionals is a strategic line of work since specific training is key throughout the whole value chain in the development, manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of new projects. ‘Keep it Local’ is an initiative that brings specific training closer to wind farms and aims at the employability of new professionals, putting the neighbors first. For the Spanish Wind Energy Association, being the facilitators of the Wind Farm Maintenance Technician Course is an opportunity to train young people, attract and retain the best talent in Spanish rural areas.”