But only 46% of wind technicians hired in Canada are graduates from wind tech training programs
Electricity generation from renewable sources is expected to continue increasing as Canada transitions to a lower-carbon economy, according to a report titled “Canada’s Renewable Power” released in March 2021 by the Canada Energy Regulator, which oversees the energy infrastructure.
Furthermore, Canada is ranked ninth in the world for installed wind energy, according to the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA). The association recently conducted a wind tech survey of its membership to understand hiring trends, and it found that 54 percent of wind technicians hired are graduates from non-wind tech programs, while 38percent of experience profiles are from outside the industry. What’s more, of the total wind technician workforce, less than 3 percent are women.
If there were more recruits with common or standardized wind industry training, companies would find efficiency and effectiveness increase for recruiting, along with gains in productivity and a decrease in costs.
“At ENERCON, we have learned that investing in promoting the wind industry and opportunities to high school and college students, as well as conducting training for our employees and our wind industry partners at our training center has proven most efficient,” says Isabelle Le Beau, Executive Director at ENERCON and member of the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) North America Committee.
Isabelle points out that several opportunities exist for salary and / or training subsidies through a range of institutions and governmental agencies such as:
When hiring experienced wind technicians, GWO certification is the avenue to improve safety and productivity because training is standardized, documented and easily verified. In fact, GWO training volumes grew 13% from 2019 to 2020 in Canada, giving more recognition to the effectiveness of standards which align requirements of employers, including basic safety and basic technical training.
Renewable energy is a bigger part of the future and efficient hiring and training will benefit companies and the Canadian workforce alike.
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.
Among the provisions for version 11 are: a definition of non-conformity, further provision related to GWO’s Auditor Qualification Training, clarification on the qualification process for GWO auditors, criteria for defining multi-site training providers as well as specific requirements for their certification such as the production of an internal audit plan.