The closing event of the second edition of Keep it Local was attended by Rocío Sicre, general manager of EDP Renewables Spain; Iñigo Echevarría, vice president of the Services business line for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Vestas; and Juan Virgilio Márquez, general manager of the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE). The three discussed the challenges of rural depopulation, the recruitment needs of the wind energy sector and the objectives achieved in this edition. Keep it Local is an initiative whose objective is to "promote training and the generation of youth employment to combat rural depopulation in Spain", and has already offered more than fifty scholarships in its first two editions. The applications for the second edition came mainly from Andalusia, Castilla La Mancha, Asturias, Castilla y León, Valencia, the Basque Country and Galicia. Of all of them, 30 were selected to take the training completely free of charge thanks to funding from EDPR and Vestas.
Rocío Sicre, General Manager of EDP Renewables Spain: "We are very pleased with the reception of Keep it Local in its second edition. After the excellent results of the first edition, in which 30% of the participants got a job in the sector, this year we have been able to train more young people to work in a growing industry, such as renewable energy, and offer employment opportunities close to their areas of residence. We will continue to develop the program in Spain and work to expand it to other markets."
Íñigo Echevarría (Vestas): "Wind energy is not only a fundamental tool in the fight against climate change. It is also a source of sustainable local employment that contributes to enriching rural areas. That is why we are proud that an initiative such as Keep it Local is achieving this impact and success".
Juan Virgilio Márquez, CEO of the Spanish Wind Energy Association: "In Spain, the wind energy sector employs more than 30,000 people and this figure could exceed 67,000 jobs by 2030. The training of wind professionals is a strategic line of work because we are aware of the importance of specific training throughout the value chain, from the development of new projects, manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance. Keep it Local is an initiative that brings specific training closer to the territories with wind power presence and aims at the employability of new professionals and, mostly, neighbors of wind farms. For the Wind Energy Business Association, being facilitators of the Wind Farm Maintenance Technician Course is an opportunity to train young people, attract and retain the best talent in Spanish rural areas".
Vestas is a Danish company that designs, develops, manufactures, installs, operates and maintains wind turbines. EDPR is the renewables division of Energias de Portugal, whose main shareholder is China's CTG Europe. The Asociación Empresarial Eólica is the national employer's association for the sector. Spain is the world's fifth largest power in terms of megawatts of installed wind capacity, behind only the locomotive of the European economy (Germany) and three giant nations (China, the United States and India).