Work Package 2 | Researching Skills and Training Needs of the Industry

Work Package 2 | Researching Skills and Training Needs of the Industry

Lead Partner POM West Flanders | Laure Martroye

Executive Summary of WP2 Final Report

Full Report can be found here: 

As part of the global endeavour to combat climate change, Europe aims to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. A crucial step towards achieving this goal is the Green Deal which highlights the necessity of increasing offshore wind production. This objective, however, comes with its own set of challenges, primarily training a workforce skilled enough to meet the growing needs of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector.

Understanding the Landscape of the ORE Sector

The ORE sector is rapidly expanding, and to keep up with the pace, several challenges must be addressed. These include upscaling and designing new teaching and training programmes to meet the fast-growing needs of the ORE market, developing new business models and increasing cooperation between the industry and the vocational education and training (VET) centres, fostering international cooperation between VET centres, and understanding which new job profiles are needed in tomorrow’s ORE sector.

T-shore: Working Together towards Solutions

The T-shore project, aims to tackle these challenges head-on. It brings together 13 VET schools and representative industry partners from Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and Ireland. The project started in June 2022 and will run until June 2026. The target group of T-shore is broad and goes beyond operations & maintenance operators. Specifically, the training programmes will target starting technicians, operators and coordinators whose training classified them as EQF 3-5 (European Qualification Framework), who are active in the entire supply chain of the ORE industry.

Main Goals of T-shore

With a vision for a secure future for the ORE sector, T-shore works towards three main goals:

  1. To develop a European network of VET schools and VET centres in the ORE sector.
  2. To establish strong links between the industry and VET institutions and form partnerships between these stakeholders in order to meet the industry’s real needs.
  3. To understand and define new competency profiles and develop advanced digital and evidence-based training methods/materials in work-based learning environments.

To achieve these goals, the partners have conducted intensive interviews with industry stakeholders in the five countries involved in the project, resulting in 89 interviews with small, medium, and large companies.

The Results: Skill and Training Needs in the Industry

After analysing the data collected from the interviews, we found that the combination of mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic skills is particularly challenging for new employees. Furthermore, the importance of safety awareness, digital skills, and soft skills in the workplace cannot be underestimated.

Training Needs in the ORE Sector

From our findings, we concluded that there is an acute shortage of qualified staff in the ORE sector, which is expected to increase in the coming years. The skill level of starting wind technicians and operators (EQF 3-5) is not always satisfactory. Companies organize in-company training to address staff shortages, but this is not standardized across the industry. Small companies (< 250 employees) prefer on-the-job training, while larger companies (> 250 employees) have started to organize in-house academies.

Join the Wave of Education!

Based on our analysis, we have formulated several recommendations for VET schools and training centres to increase the number of students, improve the level of technical skills, soft skills, safety awareness, digital skills, and to use training infrastructure more efficiently.

Be Part of the Future of ORE!

If you are active in the offshore renewable energy sector and are struggling to find qualified technical staff for your business, this is your opportunity. Join the T-shore network and contribute to the professionalisation and harmonisation of the training programmes in the ORE sector. As a member of the network, you will have the opportunity to give feedback to VET schools/centres on the development of training programmes, get in contact with students, join international train-the-trainer exchange programmes, share innovative training infrastructure, and promote the offshore wind industry in your own region.

Join us today and be a part of the solution. Let’s ride the wave of offshore renewable energy together.