33% rise in recruitment and training needs for wind turbine technicians over next five years if the world is to deliver the wind energy capacity required to meet net zero goals.
Rapid growth in onshore and offshore wind capacity is generating huge demand for skilled workforce, a new report reveals today. New figures from Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) show that 569,000 technicians will be needed to build and maintain a global onshore and offshore wind fleet that will increase in size by 67% by 2026.
With rapid growth of the wind energy capacity at the heart of the world’s plans to achieve net zero by 2050, it is vital that governments enact policies that support this expanding workforce. New capacity, modern grids and a just transition all require a strong and sustainable workforce at their foundation. This skilled, modern workforce will be a great reward for countries advancing with their energy transition plans.
Almost 30,000 new technicians are expected to join the global wind workforce every year. But the Global Wind Workforce Outlook 2022-2026 highlights an urgent need for faster growth in industry standard safety and technical training capacity to meet the forecast gaps in worker supply.
With 119,000 wind technicians holding a valid industry-standard GWO training certificate by the end of 2021, the report demonstrates a substantial opportunity for up to 450,000 technicians to complete safety and technical training during the next five years.
“There are enormous and transformative job creation opportunities brought by wind power to countries around the world and this report reminds us that for the industry to grow sustainably, a rapidly expanding workforce must be given the opportunity to work safely, with training according to industry best practice, so they can do their jobs with competence and live healthy lives.” Ben Backwell, GWEC CEO
The findings of this year’s third annual Global Wind Workforce Outlook are based upon the outputs of GWO’s workforce forecasting model and GWEC’s global wind market forecasts.
- The number of technicians that will require wind industry training to construct and maintain the global wind fleet will increase 33% from 426,700 in 2021 to 568,800 in 2026
- The number of new technicians is expected to increase by 28,400 on average per year from 2022 to 2026, resulting in a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for trained wind technicians in the construction, installation, operations and maintenance segments of the supply chain from 2021 to 2026
- GWO’s forecasts indicate 142,100 new recruits will be needed over the coming five-year period. The additional workforce will be recruited from full-time education or from people moving into wind from other sectors
“We are delighted to unveil this third edition of the GWO/GWEC Global Wind Workforce Outlook 2022-2026,” says Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC. “It focuses on the backbone of the industry: its workers.
“There are enormous and transformative job creation opportunities brought by wind power to countries around the world and this report reminds us that for the industry to grow sustainably, a rapidly expanding workforce must be given the opportunity to work safely, with training according to industry best practice, so they can do their jobs with competence and live healthy lives.”
“Over the next five years, the industry has a clear need for increased availability of recognizable safety training globally and in nine selected markets in particular,” says Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of GWO. “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 policy makers 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.”
The Global Wind Workforce Outlook 2022-2026 is the result of a collaboration between Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). This report is based upon the outputs of GWOs workforce forecasting model built with assistance from Renewables Consulting Group (RCG). The model uses GWEC’s global wind market forecasts as its primary input to determine the volume of technicians required to construct, install, operate and maintain the forecast new global onshore and offshore wind fleet out to 2026. The report seeks to answer three fundamental questions:
- How many technicians will require wind industry standard training for the construction and installation and operation and maintenance of wind assets?
- What is the gap between the level of penetration for GWO industry-standard training that is currently available and the level that would be required to train the forecast workforce?
- Where are the biggest opportunities for educators, training providers and governments to enhance wind workforce safety via GWO training?
GWO is a non-profit group of wind turbine owners and wind turbine manufacturers, committed to the creation and adoption of standardized safety training and emergency procedures.
Independent training providers deliver GWO-certified training to technicians and students worldwide. There are currently eleven GWO training standards, containing a total of 30 modules. For more information on GWO standards, visit this page.
Training records are created when a GWO standard course is passed and completed by a participant. These records are uploaded and stored in the GWO WINDA database, allowing workers to transfer their skills to new employers, reducing frictional costs and eliminating retraining of basic skills.
In 2021, more than 80,000 people completed a GWO standard training, at one of 455 certified training centres in 48 countries. The total GWO Trained Workforce (people with a valid GWO training record) was 122,573 as of 31.12.2021.