Number of workers trained and courses completed increase by double digit percentages year-over-year
The GWO trained workforce in North America expanded by 46% in 2020 – growing to 4,818 technicians, up from 3,308 the year earlier.
In addition, the total number of training courses in North America was 10,902 in 2020 for an increase of 30% over 2019. Ten additional GWO certified 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.
“The upward trends are one thing. What’s important is that the growing workforce is receiving standardized safety and technical training as the wind industry expands driven by demand for renewable energy,” 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.
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 the 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.
“In North America, we see continued growth of GWO training as the industry expands onshore and the added opportunities of the offshore sector,” Wesley says. “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.
“I can see the number of completed training modules doubling in the year ahead,” Wesley adds. “What this also means is that there will be the need for more GWO certified training providers and certification auditors.”
Taylor Burnett, Assistant Superintendent, High Plains Technology Center, agrees, “I expect the year ahead to be even bigger. To have the year we did during the Pandemic still is hard for us to fathom at times, but it is a testament as to why standardized training such as GWO will come to the forefront and more people will get on board.”
High Plains Technology Center led the Americas with 4,268 GWO training courses completed during 2020.
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.”
Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, the GWO Audit & Compliance committee has issued advisory notes communicating agreed advice, guidance and exemptions from our regular governance (requirements and standards).
Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) have signed a two-year partnership agreement to highlight the importance of safety, training and job creation to power wind energy development and the global energy transition. The wind energy industry is a major opportunity for countries to create high-skilled, local jobs to boost economic growth and reach their Paris Agreement goals.
The taxonomy establishes a transparent and coherent framework to describe safety training characteristics, allowing for a better understanding of “what good training looks like”.
The modules are reviewed in response to feedback from GWO members and 2020 workplace data from G+ which places manual handling incidents in the top three most reported injury processes.
The new standard focuses on risk management when working with or close to hazardous energies in the wind industry.