The world’s largest wind energy employers are on track to achieve a globally standardized system of safety and technical training for hundreds of thousands of workers, according to the 2020 annual report of the Global Wind Organisation (GWO). GWO, which strives to create an injury free working environment across the wind industry, reported a 12% growth of the GWO trained workforce worldwide, reaching a total of 100,052 compared with 88,030 in 2019. The total number of training courses for 2020 exceeded 200,000 for the first time at 219,749 – 10% higher than the prior year.
The GWO trained workforce in North America expanded by 46% in 2020 – growing to 4,818 up from 3,308 the year earlier.
“In North America, we see continued growth of GWO training as the industry expands onshore and the added opportunities of the offshore sector,” says Wesley Witt, Chair of the GWO North America committee and Head of Quality Management and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. “This expansion continues even with the Pandemic as the backdrop. I thank all our training providers who adapted to provide training safely to frontline technicians.”
The total number of training courses in North America was 10,902 in 2020 for an increase of 30% over 2019. Ten additional training centers opened contributing to a jump in the number of courses completed in the USA by 32% to 9,773. In Canada, training volumes grew 13% with 1,129 modules completed.
“I can see the number of completed training modules doubling in the year ahead,” Witt says, “As the demand for renewable energy continues and then adding offshore wind power, growth of standardized safety training accelerates as more and more wind technicians are needed. What this also means is that there will be the need for more GWO certified training providers and certification auditors.”
Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation, notes, “The results of this annual report demonstrate the resilience and adaptability of our network, while underlining the value of a global standard. With workers classified as essential by most governments, we have worked together with our members and the network creating innovative new ways to train people, blending digital solutions with traditional instruction and making sure a good standard of safety is always upheld.”