Aura and their partners identified a need to carry out a study to understand the activities and issues relating to skills and education in the UK offshore wind industry – regionally and nationally. This would help highlight gaps in capability and indicate the steps to standardise education and skills training thus supporting clear career pathways and qualifications for the offshore wind workforce.
The study aims to offer a sector wide strategy to bridge the skills gap, supporting the thousands of new jobs that need to be created as offshore wind becomes the backbone of a clean, reliable and affordable energy system.
Competing against other industries in what is predicted to be a competitive skilled labour market, Aura identified a research opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and the extent of workforce supply and demand issues within the development, construction and operation of the UK’s offshore wind energy sector to 2032.
The current project pipeline shows the potential for the offshore wind industry to play a major role in the UK’s energy mix at a fast-reducing cost, helping to deliver sustainable green energy to many homes and businesses across the UK – but in order to fulfil this, we need the skills and talent to do so.
Aura and Green Port Hull commissioned Energy & Utility Skills to undertake a comprehensive skills study of the UK’s offshore wind industry. The study looked to identify key challenges and potential barriers in the sector, identifying essential recommendations for the long-term sustainability and attractiveness of offshore wind.
In order to make a judgment as to whether there will be enough skilled people to meet the future demands of the offshore wind industry, we must review the current supply of skills into the UK skilled labour market.
This study identified that 36,000 people will need to be employed in offshore wind by 2032, 260% more than those currently employed, having major implications for the UK sector collectively.
By recognising skills that will strengthen the industry, the study gives a clear focus for innovation and outlined skilled areas crucial to the success of the offshore wind sector.
The research concluded that the offshore wind sector is a dynamic, fast-paced and growing industry which can provide a wide range of career opportunities to both new entrants to the sector and experienced workers.
A key challenge will be in promoting these opportunities to all sections of the working population in a way that benefits the whole supply chain.
Key recommendations have been made which have a focus on retaining the existing workforce and expanding the potential future workforce.
The full report can be downloaded here.