Belgium: Students Asking Offshore Wind Industry to Reconsider Approach to Employment
EUREC’s Wind Specialization Class of 2013 has released an open letter to the European Offshore Wind Industry.
In their letter they wrote:
The offshore wind industry has the wind behind its sails! Since 2001 with the commissioning of the first “utility-scale” offshore wind farm in Denmark to EWEA’s 2011-2020 projected offshore wind growth trends, the industry is at the forefront of the EU’s climate and energy strategy. The development of this industry has been viewed as a means of avoiding CO2 emission, increasing economic growth and in creating jobs. But, according to EWEA and other industry leaders, there is a shortage of high-skilled talent and this is creating a human resource bottleneck for the offshore wind industry. It is this last point that has confounded the young-professionals going through the educational pipeline.
As students specializing in Wind Energy within EUREC’s European Master in Renewable Energy we are excited about the opportunities in the wind industry. In fact, many of us are highly motivated and tend towards offshore wind. But we are faced with a serious problem. Starting as soon as June 1, 2013 our program requires we partake in a 6-month project period during which we are expected to join a renewable energy company or a research center as practicum students or researchers. We have all put significant effort into networking and applying for internships to meet this requirement, but to no avail. We have found that the offshore wind industry does not provide many opportunities for us to carry out our requirement, nor will it consider opening such positions.
Therefore, with the job-creating reputation preceding this industry, we ask the industry leaders to reconsider their approach to the employment pipeline. Providing more internships/practicum/research positions you will be securing a steady flow of workforce development, recruiting young, motivated and highly-skilled talent, and molding the next-generation professionals needed for your workforce. This will reduce the talent gap and allow us to dedicate our efforts to studying.
Press release, April 19, 2013; Image: master.eurec