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Broadening horizons to meet the skills shortages of the offshore and renewable sectors

Broadening horizons to meet the skills shortages of the offshore and renewable sectors

Complete Training Solutions, a subsidiary of The Progress Group, have been exploring the options to meet the demands of the ever-changing offshore and construction industries, and it all starts with education.

A report produced by Energy & Utility Skills entitled ‘Skills and Labour Requirements of the UK Offshore Wind Industry 2018 to 2032,’ suggests that job demand could reach 36,000 in the next 15 years and that immediate action is needed to address the skills shortages by working with the education system. The report highlighted that potential candidates need to be educated and attracted into the industry via the education system in order to meet the need to install 35GW of offshore capacity.

The report goes on to recommend that collaboration is the key for meeting this demand and that supply chain, training providers and government should come together to educate potential candidates about the numerous careers opportunities available in the offshore renewable sector.

But the need to broaden the horizons of young people doesn’t stop at offshore. The construction industry, arguably one of the largest sectors in the United Kingdom, is also experiencing a skills shortage. An article published on UK Construction Online highlights the danger facing this industry, with 35% of workers being over the age of 50. This, in contrast to the low volume of young people aged 18-24 who are searching for a career in this sector, is a serious cause for concern. Misconceptions about job roles and a lack of digitalization are believed to be the main causes for the lack of uptake by young people.

The common trend of these articles lead us to turn to the education system as a way of addressing the skills shortages in future generations. It is our belief that if we can dispel the myths and common misconceptions in young people now and invest in careers, advice and guidance for them, these skills gaps will be closed in the future. Taster days could also be built on to ensure that young people are exposed to a wide range of different careers, ultimately allowing them to make informed choices.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Those wishing to explore a new career could also be supported through the likes of government initiatives and funding opportunities. In 2018 alone, Complete Training Solutions supported over 8,300 people aged 25+ to access training across the renewable, construction and oil and gas industries. This included 2550 who achieved the CSCS Green card and safety awareness qualification to enable to them to access construction jobs. If through national or local government, individuals of all ages could access funding to support with retraining or up-skilling, we believe that skills shortages would be addressed in the short-term.

So how can we broaden the horizons to attract new talent into these growing sectors? We think that education and training is the key.