Offshore wind plays a crucial role in the energy transition. To realize the development of offshore wind parks in the Netherlands a substantial growth of the pool of qualified professionals is needed. With the Renewables Roadshow, visiting vocational educational institutes in the Netherlands, three organisations joined forces to fill the upcoming human capital gap.
Renewables Roadshow promotes working in the wind industry among adolescents and creates the foundation for a strong future workforce and specialists in wind energy. This initiative is an alliance of the Dutch Wind Energy Association NWEA, offshore energy education institute DOB-Academy and international leading recruitment company Atlas Professionals.
The Renewables Roadshow focusses its efforts on knowledge sharing and reputation. “Connecting young people with the number one sustainable source of electricity of the future; that is the Renewables Roadshow. It’s a chance to present the enormous opportunities the wind sector has to offer to them. Because joining the wind industry means becoming part of one of the fastest growing sustainable sectors,” says Bastiaan Vader, Industry Specialist Human Capital at NWEA. “As renewable energy is relatively new, not everyone can grasp the extent of the transition and the career opportunities it offers. The Roadshow is a way to bridge this gap,” Vader explains.
Upcoming human capital gap
Over 2500 professionals are needed in the next five years to build offshore wind parks in the Netherlands, according to the report ‘Employment analysis (2019-2023) of various field of activities in the Dutch offshore wind sector’. Re-skilling workers from the Oil & Gas industry is part of the short-term solution to fill the upcoming human capital gap. Engaging the next generation from a young age to work in the Renewables industry is a long-term one, according to Joost Pellis, Strategic Manager Renewables & Marine at Atlas Professionals.
“At Atlas we are convinced that the industry cannot rely on re-skilling workers from other industries as a long-term, cast-iron solution. With notoriously higher rates than the wind sector, we are already noticing that oil & gas professionals are returning to the sector as their activities increase. We need to prepare other solutions, such as this Renewables Roadshow, to get increased awareness of the Renewables career opportunities among young people,” says Pellis. “We want adolescents pursuing a technical career to realize that they can also pursue a career in offshore wind. That they can not only strike for climate, but also create and change the future by working in (offshore) Renewables.”
Entertain and engage
Depending on the time available, the schools can pick and mix between a fixed set of activities and presentations. One of them is the frequently played Rotor Game, a proven practical case, by Delft based DOB-Academy. “The rotor game is a popular feature in our Introduction to Offshore Wind Course. It not only gives a good insight of how a wind turbine generates power, it enables participants to come up with their own rotor design. Besides that, it is always fun to see if your own creation actually works! When visiting schools, we also see that it attracts a lot of students for that reason,” Hendrik Goos from DOB-Academy says.
“What’s different about the Renewables Roadshow is that we visit the schools, instead of the other way around. We want to make it easy for the teachers to show their pupils that they can not only become a car mechanic, but also a wind mechanic, and give them the tools and knowledge to demonstrate this in a fun and engaging way,” Pellis concludes.
Are you a Dutch MBO student or teacher and interested in having the Renewables Roadshow at your school? Do not hesitate to request more information by contacting Lian Beuzenberg via email@example.com.