Cordant Focus

Category: Industry Sector Insights

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“Unique Challenges Facing Wind Industry - Is The Answer Blowing In The Wind?”

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Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2nd-6th November - Wind Industry needs young engineers. In the last few years wind energy companies, globally, have repeatedly stressed concern over a shortage of skilled workers, especially in certain fields - but the shortage is more acute for roles which require a high degree of responsibility and skill.  The number of engineers graduating from universities is simply not accommodating the requirements of modern economies.

The life cycle of a wind farm includes: developing and consenting; design and manufacture; construction and installation and operations and maintenance.  Installing the turbines onto the foundations requires expertise of the highest standard as  turbines now have 80 metre-long blades and maintenance is crucial. Also the next generation of offshore wind turbines will be larger than those currently in use and with the speed of technology it will be vital to have an abundant and available workforce of talented engineers, and also technicians with advanced skills, specifically equipped to meet the demands of the wind industry.

Some of the largest wind turbine manufacturers have teams of over 1000 technicians and engineers worldwide but the majority of these skilled workers are in their 50’s which means there is going to be a huge gap in the market for skilled engineers with advanced skills.  Will there be sufficient workers to fill engineering jobs - bearing in mind the retirement of the baby-boomers?

Engineers will have to become more multi-skilled, flexible and prepared to travel to develop skills and most importantly ‘transfer skills’ to secure the future of the wind industry. The big challenge with wind turbines is that large numbers of components are needed, and therefore the manufacturing sector needs to adapt to make the increasing quantities. This means that process development engineers with product engineering or advanced manufacturing qualifications are needed. Wind turbines consist of three major components—the blades, tower, and nacelle—each of which has to be designed and produced separately.

Engineers are used in both manufacturing and project development, and the majority of engineering  jobs require special skills unique to wind power, however, most wind companies are willing to employ engineers from other sectors and give them wind-specific training. The primary exception to this trend is the wind turbine service technician - who is employed to inspect turbines and provide regular maintenance, there is presently a significant shortage of wind turbine technicians.

Wind power has a lot of fans!
Siemens is the global leader in the production of wind turbines and have regular vacancies.   Do you want to breeze your way through a promising career in the wind industry?

 



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