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2 min read

Exploring Opportunities: What Does the Future Hold for an Offshore Wind (OSW) Workforce?

Exploring Opportunities: What Does the Future Hold for an Offshore Wind (OSW) Workforce?

According to a report by the Global Wind Energy Council, 2023 will be the first year in which global new capacity for offshore wind will exceed 100 gigawatts (GW), and the same report forecasts year-on-year growth of 15%.

As policymakers increasingly prioritize and raise the bar for climate goals, there will be significant growing pains for the future of offshore wind in the coming years. The demand for clean and renewable energy sources is great for developers but creates a pressure to deliver transformational change in short periods of time. Consequently, workforce readiness for businesses in offshore wind will become a major challenge.

Arthur Ransier, Director of Business Strategy at nTech Workforce notes, “All of the growth in offshore wind is undoubtedly going to result in significant demand for workers, particularly in the United States.”

So what are the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for staffing the offshore wind workforce?

 

What staffing challenges face offshore wind?

 

Due to the rapid growth in the industry, Ransier says the industry will need more “Engineers, project managers, technicians, and other professionals with expertise in offshore wind technology and operations. Therefore, there will be a significant opportunity for businesses in the offshore wind industry to provide specialized services and expertise.”

However, as Ransier describes, the challenge arises in that “Finding workers with the necessary skills and experience can be difficult. This can result in longer lead times and higher costs for recruiting and training workers, which can impact project timelines and profitability.”

Another challenge faced by the offshore wind industry is “health and safety,”Ransier notes, “workers in this industry are often exposed to challenging and potentially hazardous conditions.” As one might expect, this also brings about “challenges related to regulatory compliance,” adds Ransier.

 

What Staffing Opportunities exist for offshore wind?

 

All is not lost, however, because, as Ransier notes, there are tons of exciting staffing opportunities in the offshore wind industry:

  • Developing Local Talent: There is a need for a range of skills and services, including manufacturing, logistics, construction, and operations and maintenance. By investing in training and development programs for local workers, offshore wind businesses can help develop a skilled workforce tailored to the needs of the industry.
  • Creating New Jobs and Opportunities: The growth of the offshore wind industry is expected to create a significant number of new jobs and economic opportunities. This includes jobs in areas such as engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance, as well as opportunities for suppliers and service providers.
  • Encouraging Diversity and Inclusion: The offshore wind industry in the United States has an opportunity to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce from the ground up. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion in recruitment, training, and development, offshore wind businesses can create a more equitable and sustainable workforce ecosystem.
  • Supporting Local Communities: Offshore wind businesses have the opportunity to support local communities by investing in training and development programs, providing economic opportunities, and engaging with local stakeholders.
  • Innovating and Driving Technological Advancement: The offshore wind industry in the United States is still in the early stages of development, which present opportunities for businesses to drive innovation and technological advancement. This includes developing new products and services, as well as improving existing technologies to make them more efficient and cost-effective.

Man with glasses pointing at projector

What are the best practices offshore wind should consider as they develop their workforce?

 

“As the offshore wind industry continues to grow, it is important for businesses to develop effective workforce practices that enable them to recruit, train, and retain skilled workers they need to succeed,” says Ransier.

According to the team at nTech, these are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Build a talent pipeline
  • Prioritize safety
  • Offer competitive compensation and benefits
  • Create a positive work environment
  • Engage with local communities

 

Offshore wind turbines

How can business leaders prepare for the future of the workforce in offshore wind?

 

Ransier notes, "As the offshore wind industry continues to grow, business leaders must be prepared to adapt to changing market conditions, regulations, and technologies.” Ransier shared some techniques businesses can adopt to stay ahead and be prepared:

  • Develop a long-term strategy
  • Stay informed about industry trends
  • Foster innovation
  • Build a skilled workforce
  • Manage risk
  • Foster collaboration

The future of offshore wind staffing is dynamic. If your business is knee deep, preparing, or interested in offshore wind, your staffing and recruiting strategies can be a competitive advantage, and nTech Workforce is here to help.

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