For the past 5 years, wind energy companies have repeatedly reported acute shortage of workers within certain fields. The European Wind Energy Association’s members stated in last year (2012) membership survey that recruitment and retention of qualified staff is a major challenge.
In order to identify more specifically the most critical shortage, Greenfish, a recruitment company exclusively devoted to renewable energy and environmental jobs, has carried out a survey research which results will be presented at the 2013 EWEA Careers Day on Thursday 7 February.
The objectives of the survey research consist in:
- Assessing companies recruitment challenges
- Identifying the most wanted profiles
- Enabling recruiting companies to meet with potential matching profiles candidates at EWEA 2013
1) Companies recruitment challenges
The biggest challenge impacting the recruitment and HR activities for companies active in the wind industry is the skill shortage. And fierce competition exists among businesses to attract the best candidates. The skill shortage results in longer recruitment processes, higher recruitment costs and delays in projects. In addition, the offshore wind is facing competition from the oil & gas sector. The skill shortage along with the difficult access to capital, are hampering the growth of the wind industry which would otherwise be even stronger than it is today.
2) Major recruitment trends within the wind industry
- Job opportunities within the wind energy are currently predominantly within the project development area. Developers are massively recruiting for project managers due to the rise of wind farms sites in the planning stages.
- In the future, an increase in demand for windfarm construction/operation managers may be forecasted as many projects are moving from the planning to the construction phase of wind energy.
- Another key trend is the increased demand for grid integration of wind energy onto the network.
- In addition offshore wind farm development, port refits, supply chain manufacturing will be boosting the sector’s employment for the years ahead.
3) Findings – 10 most wanted profile survey research
The survey research results are providing an overview of what profiles companies are currently looking for. In light of the wind technology and projects development stages, the survey results (most wanted profiles) are in line with the sector’s employment trends. The 10 most wanted profiles are:
- Senior project manager offshore
- Experienced project manager offshore – cables
- Sales/account manager
- Senior project engineer (Senior offshore wind installation engineer)
- Process/production engineer
- Manufacturing/production manager – Wind Turbines blades
- Control engineer for development of Wind turbines components
- Civil Engineer, Onshore wind farm development
- Offshore site supervisor
- Environmental coordinator
With the increasing interest and commitment of larger organizations in wind projects, more vacancies such as the Quality Health Safety Environment Manager or prevention advisor– with the aim to improve the efficiency, quality, reliability and safety of each wind energy project – are also becoming highly in demand.
The wind sector, especially the offshore wind, is a concentrated market with a limited number of major players. The job opportunities are directly linked to the level of wind projects financing. Successful and timely wind project implementation creates awareness and can attract more financing. Therefore resolving the skill shortage –identification of skill gap, setting an EU wide standardization of training curricula- is paramount to sustain a healthy wind sector growth.
Contact: Lizhen Xu