Victoria Kenrick of international sustainable recruitment specialist, Allen & York explores current trends within the wind energy sector; including an in-depth look at where the latest job roles exist within Europe, which job types are on the increase and the transferable skills that exist for professionals wanting to make their career move into the industry.
Europe has a challenge ahead, in terms of renewable energy targets. Many governments have signed-up to a commitment which states that by 2020, 20 per cent of energy production will come from renewable sources. It’s quite a target for any government to achieve, but in a climate where purse strings are being tightened, this challenge is ever more complex. However, the UK in particular has made incredible headway in wind power and in fact is now known as the flagship nation for harnessing the power of wind, on an industrial scale.
The wind energy sector is one of the key employment sectors in Europe, with the industry as a whole employing 154,000 people (Wind Energy Assoc. data). In 2015 this figure is forecast to grow to 212,000 and in 2020 to 328,000, the current top 4 EU member country employers are: Germany with 38,000, Denmark with 23,000, Spain with 20,000 and France with 7,000.
Recruitment in the wind energy industry will be significant in terms of accessibility to potential employers and employees
According to research by RenewableUK, the number of staff employed full-time on large-scale offshore and onshore green energy projects increased from 4,800 in 2007 to around 9,200 last year. In addition, it is expected that there will be strong growth within the European wind energy sector over the next decade, with over 250,000 new jobs created. According to David Blake, Renewable Energy Manager at Allen & York, “this pattern could be attributable to the increase in larger organisations setting up regional offices close to wind projects across Europe”.
Therefore, more vacancies are becoming available – with the aim to improve the efficiency, quality, reliability and safety of each wind energy project. This development will benefit the renewable energy sector as a whole by raising the awareness and interest from stakeholders at a regional and national level; in turn this will itself increase investment within the sector, leading to more jobs and positive economic impact.