April 17, 2024

Wind Technician Training is on Track in Japan

A strategic partnership between GWO and Japanese Wind Power Association will result in new industry endorsed guidelines for wind turbine technicians

Japanese wind energy's safety and workforce development prospects took a giant step forward this week, after industry bodies met in Tokyo.

Global Wind Organisation's project development team and the Japanese Wind Power Association (JWPA) Offshore Wind Taskforce followed up on their partnership announced at last year's Global Offshore Wind Summit in Kitakyushu, by developing new industry approved guidance as promised.

The group completed a week-long workshop to develop the first draft of the JWPA Entry Level Wind Technician Guidelines, that will result in clear descriptions of competences required by wind turbine technicians and the training needed to perform the role.

JWPA intends to launch the new guidelines after the summer 2024, and the objective of producing this document, will be to signpost entry level workforce and their employers towards relevant industry training standards such as GWO courses, that may be applied as a baseline for learning and competence.

Addressing workforce development need

Wind energy development in Japan will create a dramatic increase in need for wind technicians, especially from offshore projects. Last year's Global Wind Workforce Outlook highlighted Japan's requirements in detail, with almost 4000 new technicians requiring training by 2027.

To be able to attract and hire in technicians at scale, JWPA sought to create a guideline to align and bridge any existing gaps between GWO's standards and the specific requirements of the Japanese wind industry, thereby promoting a harmonious and effective integration of global best practices and local needs. Recognising this challenge, JWPA and GWO jointly identified a unique opportunity: the creation and publication of an industry-endorsed guideline for basic safety and technical training specifically tailored for wind technicians in construction, installation, operations and maintenance.

Hitoshi Katayama, Vice President of Japan Wind Power Association explained:

"As our nation embarks on scaling up offshore wind, we will increasingly rely on recruiting new, young entry level technicians. JWPA hosted this workshop with GWO, where our joint membership have examined and described requirements for this role and related training needs."
The JWPA/GWO Working Group is developing easy-to-use guidelines signposting training requirements for entry level wind technicians
Building blocks of the Guidelines

This guideline has been developed in response to the demand for recognizable training in the industry and has been prepared in co-operation between the members of JWPA and GWO based on Japanese regulations such as, Fire Service Act, Red Cross, Electricity Business Act, Inspection System of WTG and Industrial Safety and Health Act in Japan.

As associations representing the world’s largest employers in wind in Japan, JWPA and GWO working in collaboration have the necessary scale and insight to provide clear guidance to the industry with reference to identified roles that are carried out by technicians within core components of the wind energy value chain. 

JWPA members agree that everyone working on wind turbines are recommended to complete courses relevant for their assignments. All work is recommended to be completed in teams of at least two competent persons. Exemptions from the above can be made based on internal company rules – as a duty holders responsibility.


Guideline Overview

The JWPA Entry Level Wind Technician Guidelines describe a set of recommended training that will be accepted by JWPA members. The job profile for a wind service technician is accompanied by a list of training standards and modules that JWPA has recommended.

GWO training standards and other training deemed necessary for the Japanese wind market are clearly marked within the Guidelines following an analysis of Japanese regulations and requirements of JWPA members. In some cases, additional training, that is currently outside of the GWO standards portfolio, is recommended. For example, employers are recommended additional training such as Japanese Special Education where necessary.

Ann Duedahl, Global Learning Leader at GE Vernova is Chair of the GWO Training Committee. She explained:

"Working with my Japanese wind colleagues on the creation of the JWPA guidelines for entry level technicians' training has been an inspiring experience proving that we despite the difference in how we operate across companies, countries and cultures all share the aim of training our techs to work safely. GWO training standards are proving themselves to be the means to reach this qualification level - this standardization is a huge step forward for the industry overall.

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

"It has been a pleasure to work alongside JWPA and its members. We hope to be able to release a joint JWPA-GWO Guideline document at the upcoming Global Offshore Wind Summit in September in Sapporo."