October 1, 2020

Safety training volumes fell -15% during COVID-19 lockdown

2020 Half Year Report reveals challenging six months for training providers

GWO training providers returned to action quickly after COVID-19 lockdown eased, but courses in the first six months of 2020 reduced by -15% versus the same period in 2019.  

GWO today publishes its 2020 Half Year Report, Training in the Pandemic, revealing how activity across the global network fell by up to -86% during March, April and May.

The normally busy period between weeks 13-17 from March into April saw sharp falls from an average of around 5-6000 GWO courses per week, to fewer than 1000.

However, as countries began to emerge at the end of May, activity rapidly increased, with June 2020 averaging +45% more courses than the same month in 2019.

Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation, said: “It was encouraging to see how quickly GWO training providers were able to adapt COVID safety measures, and resume training following lockdown. In most cases they have continued this increased activity into Q3. Even so, more than 6,000 technicians saw their GWO certificates lapse when they were unable to train and our members prioritized the risk of skills fade amongst technicians affected in this way, by developing standards and requirements for virtual classroom training and blended learning solutions with digital elements. There are now over 40 training providers certified to provide digital or virtual courses. At the beginning of 2020, there was just one, and this is an immediate effect of the lockdown. Here and now, it means there are more options available should we see a second or third wave of corona. In the longer run, this may cause systemic change to the way our business trains for safety.”

Paul Robbins, Chief Health and Safety Specialist at Vestas, and Chair of GWO added: “The first half of 2020 was the most challenging period many of us has ever experienced and unfortunately it appears for a number of countries, the spread of the virus has increased again. However, our commitment to safety is the priority. Technicians will be required to install and maintain our growing wind power infrastructure in spite of many risks posed by COVID-19 and I believe the GWO network is well prepared to support our workforce and ride out the worst effects of any repeat situation this winter.”

GWO Trained workforce: 91,539
GWO Courses Completed Europe: 78,515 (-16%)
GWO Courses Completed Americas: 15,319 (+47%)
GWO Courses Completed Asia/Pacific (8563 (+10%)