January 15, 2021

Wind energy employers won’t step back safety training during lockdown

‍Despite COVID 19, GWO Training is available worldwide, safely in person and digitally via online refresher courses

At the beginning of 2020, the pandemic took everyone by surprise and many industries shut down. Between April and June 2020, up to 85% of GWO training ceased under lockdown conditions.

Now, less than one year on, just 6% of the GWO Training Provider network is closed, despite the impact of a third COVID 19 lockdown across much of Europe. We have learnt how to work together during these hard times, and this is shown by the majority of GWO Training centers which are open and running courses again.

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).

Overall a growth in GWO courses is expected from March 2021, while in January and February 2021 training providers expect to train around the same amount of people as the same period last year.

Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation, explains:

“The capacity of the industry to adapt to the new normal and to grow despite the challenges of COVID 19, shows how the wind energy industry is ready today to continue investing in safety and how the health and safety of the workforce remains at the top of the agenda.”
A safe environment for training

As we learned last year in the Training in the pandemic series of webinars (available on our YouTube channel), many different measures have been implemented by training centres to be able to offer as many courses as possible while respecting social distancing and safety measures.

An example is AIS Training (UK) which extended its opening hours to be able to organise more classes than usual and train as many workers as possible.

We are open and operating as normal albeit with comprehensive safety measures in place. Demand is high across both initial and refreshers so we are running twilight shifts to ensure we can meet demand across all GWO courses.

– AIS Training - UK

Digitalisation led to new ways of training

In April 2020, GWO introduced a new training standard, the Basic Safety Standard Refresher Partial (BSTRP). The idea was to help the workforce in enabling them to refresh their skills and be ready for work in a world in which travelling to the training centers was not as easy as before. The BSTRP course is 100% digital and its certificate of competition is valid for six months. Today, a large number of Training Providers are certified to deliver the BSTRP digitally and participants can join the courses online from anywhere in the world. The list of the Training Providers delivering BSTRP is available on WINDA.