The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Recruiting Amidst the Winds of Change

Wind power has seen dramatic growth in recent years and remains a highly topical and highly politicised sector. It plays an important role in Europe's economy, contributing to its gross domestic product (GDP) and job creation. Ernst & Young, for example, estimates that for every €1 million invested in wind, twenty-one jobs are created.

However, the technical challenges associated with transmitting energy from an offshore source back into grid have proven both costly and time consuming. These project delays have sparked vigorous political debate. In turn policy uncertainty has led to an unpredictable market, which has affected recruitment. Nevertheless, opportunities remain especially prevalent within the financially stable utility providers for high-calibre professionals with a keen interest in the wind power industry.

Similarly, the established wind farm developers with a strong installed capacity continue to recruit due to historical financial success. At the mid-tier level, especially those offshore-specific, times can be challenging. However, those usually in joint venture with an established utility company are also highly active.

Alongside the drive for highly-skilled engineering and technical staff, the maturation of the industry also provides opportunity for ‘corporate functions’ such as procurement as well as project management, while the complexities of offshore construction have driven the need for experienced ‘contract’ specialists often coming from the historical heavy industries.

In summary, though experiencing real pressures, these companies can provide a conduit for professionals working outside of the wind industry but wanting to make the transition to a sector that offers the opportunity to be involved with technologies shaping the future.

Growing Job Demands

Available figures suggest that close to 400,000 people in Europe work in renewable energy and employment in the wind sector alone more than doubled between 2000 and 2007. Growth is expected to double again by 2020 to 330,000 people.

Whether it is installing foundations, commissioning turbines, or ongoing maintenance, there is a growing supply chain of businesses feeding this industry. Opportunities in the supply chain are open for those ’non-wind’ professionals; equally, within those who are ‘wind-specific’, the market is crying out for experienced practitioners — particularly both from an engineering standpoint as well as project geared.

There’s also plenty of work in the contractor space for those with specialist experience. Here, project management and specialist design skills come into their own, not only in the more advanced markets of Europe, but in rapidly developing regions like Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Transferable Skills

The wind power industry remains relatively young, so the candidate pool is of a different size and maturity to other sectors. Finding candidates with an exact skills match is always a challenge and the level of transferable skills varies according to function. Despite this, many companies still demand direct experience of the sector.

Technical project managers and developers, for example, will often need experience in the wind industry in terms of having knowledge of the relevant legislation, conducting site assessments and impact studies. But where the key requirement is in managing budgets, cost or teams, then making the transition to wind is possible.

Electrical and mechanical engineers can be industry mobile, and are sought after in the wind sector. These professionals enjoy solving technological problems and will be attracted by the opportunity to work in a sector as topical as wind power. Similarly, procurement and supply chain professionals with a solid understanding of managing the flow of goods and cost-saving strategies and who have worked in similar fields will find a lot more opportunity for cross pollination.

As more offshore wind comes online there will be greater crossover between the oil and gas, marine and aerospace sectors. The offshore wind jobs market is diverse, with demand for skills in everything from deepwater port management and marine risk management to helicopter and vessel manufacturing.

Making the Transition

After years of pro-wind policies and sound investment, the industry is on what looks like a self-sustaining trajectory and it would be foolish to assume that the ‘green’ jobs market has stalled simply because policy makers and headline writers are focused elsewhere.

The technology is relatively mature compared to other sub-sectors within the renewable energy space and, when nations return to growth, many commentators believe the wind power market will be bigger, stronger and more globalised than ever before. The opportunities for highly-skilled professionals to move between related industries will also grow.

In addition, as with any market, the balance between lifestyle, career opportunities and net remuneration has to be right.

With many of the major players looking to secure the best talent in European hotspots such as London, Hamburg and Copenhagen (where we are seeing an influx of new entrants or new regional offices being opened), they are now making it easy both for graduate engineers and family men or women to relocate and settle.

There are perhaps greater opportunities for wind power beginners with the newer or mid-tier entrants in the field. Pay can be upper quartile and these players are potentially less concerned about direct experience.

With the global wind industry expected to install more than 46 GW (gigawatts) of new capacity this year, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) predicts annual growth rates of about 8 percent for the next five years. Those with either commercial or engineering backgrounds and looking to be a part of what could provide a source of renewed economic growth in Europe are encouraged to look closely at wind power. And with the right employer, it may prove to be the perfect career path.

Lead image: Wind farm worker via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Wind Power is Breaking Down International Border Barriers

Vince Font In an important “model of collaboration” between the U.S. and Mexico, the first ever cross-border wind farm has been ...

Why Do Germany’s Electricity Prices Keep Falling?

Rachel Morison, Bloomberg Chancellor Angela Merkel cemented Germany’s shift toward an economy powered by renewable energy in 2010 with her “Ene...

German Renewables Investors To Fund Iranian Wind Farm

Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg Development Environment Arvand Co., a German-Iranian renewables developer, signed an agreement to build a 48-megawatt...
Top 10 Clean Energy Trends Driving the Global Clean Energy Revolution

Top 10 Clean Energy Trends Driving the Global Clean Energy Revolution

PRESS RELEASES

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

30 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 30 days to go to t...

FEATURED BLOGS

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

Activity supported with Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation funding BOONE—The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachia...

Discounted Room Rates for Geothermal Event end Friday

Discounted room rates for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo end Friday Room rates for this prestigi...

3 Reasons To Follow-Up

It’s very important to begin nurturing your relationship with a customer immediately after the project you sold...

Who are the Solar Early Adopters? - the “Tipping Point” is Looming

We all know why people go solar: investment purposes, immediate savings, environmental concerns, and grid independenc...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Earthstaff is an international specialist in the energy recruitment industry, specialising in oil and gas, mining, mineral exploration and wind power industry jobs. Jack has nearly ten years of experience in international recruitment working in a...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS