GWO Training centres are open for business, keeping our workforce safe and your electricity grid powered up
With many of us experiencing a third wave and lockdown from COVID-19, you might think safety training for wind workers would shut down too.
But wind energy is an essential industry, delivering gigawatts of power to the grid and with the necessary safety precautions, training for the wind energy sector is still happening.
A survey of more than 160 GWO Training Providers from 37 countries reveals a positive scenario for safety training around the world. In contrast to the first months of the pandemic in March 2020, where up to 80% were partially or completely shut down, today only 6% of the global network of GWO training providers is closed owing to COVID-19 restrictions (15th January 2021).
The remainder confirm they are open and are running courses to ensure our workforce has the opportunity to refresh their vital safety skills and keep the world’s wind turbines spinning.
In some cases, the demand for training is in fact growing and even where the COVID-19 requires sensible precautions (such as lower number of course participants for each class), GWO Training Providers have adapted to accommodate as many students as possible.
For example AIS Training in the UK, explain that a lot of technicians need training but since their classes are not as large as before the pandemic, they are operating on longer opening hours to be able to have more shifts each day:
Demand is high across both initial and refreshers so we are running twilight shifts to ensure we can meet demand across all GWO courses. Open and operating as normal albeit with comprehensive safety measures in place. AIS Training – UK
If you live in an area where training in person is not available, you can keep your certificates up to date and be ready for your next work on a wind turbine by completing the Basic Safety Training Refresher Partial (BSTRP). The standard was introduced last April, and it consists in a 100% digital course that you can follow from your home. The list of the training providers that offer the digital course is on WINDA and you can choose any of the available ones, no matter where they are. Make sure to have a stable internet connection and verify with the Training Provider how they will organize the course. Upon competition, the BSTRP certificate has a validity of six months.
GWO is today (6 December 2022), updating its advice with reference to an item in the equipment lists contained in some standard annexes. This specifically relates to GWO standards with the following codes: ART, ART-R, BST, BSTR, BSTR-P, Lift and WLA
Over 100 community colleges teach wind turbine technician programs in North America. One GWO training provider, Safety Technology (STL) USA is moving quickly to offer a new pathway into work for college students.
EDF Renewables North America (EDFR) is the latest addition to the growing list of GWO training providers in the US market.
The next generation of wind turbine technicians were placed front and centre at GWO’s Safety & Training Forum, as training providers and employers debated the best approach to onboard thousands of new people.
Standard increases safety around supervised, infrequent WTG visitors.
Specialized safety training highlighted as a significant gap for offshore wind construction and O&M; More GWO Sea Survival training will be needed to safely deliver on the 30GW 2030 target; Companies will need to guide new technicians and rapidly deploy full-scope training for them to keep up with the hastening pace of construction activity.