​Oil and gas workers can safely transition to renewables sector

07 December 2020 by Acre
blog author

A new safety training programme is being launched to help skilled workers move into the renewables sector.

The initiative is the brainchild of RenewableUK and Global Wind Organisation (GWO), the non-profit industry body for safety and technical training.

Workers in sectors such as oil and gas will be given the opportunity to take part in the GWO Safety Training Access Programme which recognises complementary skills and basic safety knowledge.

This will enable those who are keen to work in other parts of the energy sector to fast track onto GWO’s refresher courses, if they have already undergone verifiable training in their previous work.

Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation, said: “While the wind power industry grows, employers are looking to hire the very best people to work on their sites. We’re marking out a clear path that makes the transition easy and safe for the individual worker, while providing value to the wind industry.

“The oil and gas basic safety training standard BOSIET is only 15 per cent comparable to GWO’s basic safety training. But there’s such a huge demand for skilled people to make the switch and it’s their experience as engineers and electricians we want.

“Safety training is a vital passport to working in the renewable energy sector so we’re launching the Access Programme to give that little bit more assistance. Before, the only pre-requisite to being allowed onto a refresher course, was an existing GWO record. This gives people another potential way in.”  

Melanie Onn, RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive, said: “We’re going to see a huge expansion in offshore wind over the course of this decade, quadrupling our current capacity by 2030. That means we’ll need a massive influx of highly-skilled UK workers to build vital new energy infrastructure.

“Former oil and gas workers offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field. This new programme will ensure the skills they already have are fully recognised and that we supplement the training they’ve already undergone with a new level of specialist understanding on how to work safely on offshore and onshore wind farms."

The Access Programme will be launched in April 2021 and in the meantime, GWO is reviewing other training standards to compare them to GWO courses and investigate whether other skills are also transferable. 

The GWO Basic Safety Training Standard (BST) is required by wind energy employers as a pre-requisite for their staff and contractors before they are allowed on site. More than 40 training providers teach BST courses across the UK (and more than 370 globally) which comprise four modules: First Aid, Fire Awareness, Manual Handling and Working at Heights. Offshore workers are also required to complete the Sea Survival modules.

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