New Training Opportunities Boost UK Energy Sector Skills Base

According to a recent Skills Manifesto released by RenewableUK, the offshore wind industry will need to recruit up to 70,500 skilled workers by 2023 to meet its construction and maintenance requirements, and to enable the UK to meet its renewable energy targets.

And with 80% of the entire energy industry workforce set to retire within the next 10 years, concerns have been raised about how this skills gap will be filled. Thankfully, new initiatives and training opportunities have been springing up across the country to address the problem, and the next generation of skilled energy workers are already entering the market.

New wind energy apprenticeships are attracting high calibre candidates, with 183 people enrolled on two programmes recently launched by Energy & Utility Skills alone. 35 students working for DONG Energy have already completed their apprenticeships, with another 35 due to start courses in the near future, whilst Siemens and RWE have 92 and 10 people enrolled respectively.

The Energy & Utility Skills apprenticeships are run at colleges around the country and offer a choice of two routes – operations and maintenance, and turbine installation and commissioning.

Meanwhile, logistics giant Maersk is offering a welcome career boost to unemployed people in the north east of England, through its brand new Level 2 Diploma course: Staying Safe in the Wind Turbine Environment (Onshore and Offshore). A successful pilot run of the course, run in Newcastle, has already seen a number of students start work with Yorkshire-based firm, BostonEnergy. Their roles include Wind Turbine Technician and working at Walney Offshore Wind Farm in Cumbria.

The 10 week Maersk course will now run every two to three months. Enrolling is free for UK residents aged over 19 and who are unemployed and receiving benefits. Find out more at

Wilding says: Recent figures released by RenewableUK and Energy & Utility Skills show that direct jobs in the renewables sector have increased by 74% to 18,500 in the last two years, with 16,000 in related roles. It’s vital that, as the industry grows, we keep filling new jobs with home-grown talent – and these new training courses will help to do just that.’

Sources: ReNews and PennEnergy