The energy sector is one of Scotland’s key economic drivers. With significant investment expected over the next 10 years and Scottish Government’s ambitions for renewable technology will require a national skilled workforce and talent pool for Scotland’s energy sector. In response ESP has worked with industry partners to establish the Wind and Marine Training Network (WMTN) in 2012, a formal college network to support large-scale renewables across Scotland. The WMTN has supported the development of the Wind Turbine Technician course, now delivered at 3 colleges; Fife, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway colleges. To date the network have supported over 600 Wind Turbine Technicians and 100 Apprentices with a further 70 enrolled in colleges for 2018/19. The Network has developed capability in:
- Wind Turbine Technicians
- GWO Basic Technical Training
- Wind Turbine Composites
- Marine and Maritime Skills
Through funding received from Scottish Government ESP have also supported Wind Turbine Technicians to gain other vital qualifications for the wind sector such as GWO Basic Safety Standards which allows students to gain work placements in industry by gaining first-hand experience of working at heights.
ESP has been working with 3 colleges to secure approval to offer the GWO Basic Technical Training programme which will be available early 2019. ESP is working with developers to identify new geographic priority areas and key skills requirements and will expand the network accordingly.
ESP have also negotiated significant discounts on capital equipment for colleges with circa £500K worth of equipment including Hydraulics and Pneumatics, Wind Turbine Trainers (9), Hydraulic Torque, Laser Alignment and Marine equipment being purchased and installed across the network.
The WMTN worked with Scottish Power Renewables and SSE to secure key pieces of equipment to the college network as invaluable teaching aids for the wind technician courses, giving students direct experience with wind turbine components.
The Networks is currently being reviewed in line with the offshore wind developments and ESP is working with Developers to identify additional skills capacity with potential for Dundee and Angus, North East Scotland and North Highland colleges to be supported to develop their capacity and capability to support these developments.