Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Day 2: “A Working Week to Solve the Wind Energy Talent Shortage”

This week Clare Buxton is looking at how to manage the talent shortage in the Wind Energy sector, whether you’re hiring or looking to be hired. Yesterday we established that the shortage really does exist, but what’s causing it? 


 So why is there a talent shortage in the industry? 

  • Well, firstly it is a new industry, especially in our home territory, the UK.  Realistically we have 7 or 8 years of experience to draw upon. In other European countries – noticeably Denmark, Germany and Spain – and the USA there is slightly more maturity.  
  • Secondly, the market is growing extremely quickly.  There are new positions being created every day. Every major organisation committed to becoming a leading player in this space is building and strengthening teams, launching new divisions, opening new offices, and requiring the man power to do so.
  • Until very recently, the Renewable Energy industry has been a sector which has struggled to attract new talent from a compensation perspective, especially in comparison to it’s big dirty brother, Oil and Gas.  The oil and gas industry has a lot of transferable skills to offshore Wind and a plethora of talented engineers but they pay well and know how to retain staff.  Fair play to them, but it has traditionally made it harder for us to compete.
  • Engineering in itself seems to be suffering a generational crisis.  Engineers are an aging breed.  New blood is starting to pump through, but there is a distinct gap in the middle. Where are all the engineers with 10 years or so experience?  (If that’s you, please let me know, you’re wanted!) 

The burning question, another one that EcoSearch hears frequently, is: 

“How do we overcome the talent shortage?”  

And I wish I had an easy answer.  Over the next two days I will be making a few suggestions.  Tune in tomorrow to find suggestions that will help you overcome the talent shortage if you represent a company looking to hire.  

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