The energy transition is underway and with it, the rise of renewables, which is changing the map of energy professions. By 2030, it is estimated that 14 million new jobs will be created in the energy sector. Offshore wind energy is no exception to this trend: new opportunities are emerging, and the sector has serious assets to attract talent. Estrella Martin Segurado, Chief People & Organization Officer at Ocean Winds, explains.
What are the jobs of today and tomorrow in offshore wind?
Estrella Martin Segurado: There are 2 areas where there are and will be many job opportunities: Business Development and all positions linked to engineering such as energy assessment or site characteristics (see box below). The jobs of today and tomorrow in offshore wind are those that, in addition to the technical knowledge essential to the sector, demand professional skills such as adaptability, the ability to work in a team and in multicultural environments, critical thinking and initiative.
With the rise of offshore wind power, are we able to meet the demand for talents?
EMS: The market activity is moving fast forward while the number of specialized professionals has not grown accordingly yet. In addition, in most cases, the projects are located in small towns, with a reduced supply of qualified workers. Given the shortage of professionals, we have currently chosen to target other similar profiles from the renewable energy or from the oil and gas sector. Indeed, there's a lot of technological transfer that can be done from one sector to another. The most important is understanding the industry, its constraints, technical evolutions and business perspectives.
Offshore wind: which jobs? Which skills?
The development of offshore wind energy creates many job opportunities, such as:
- Business Development: M&A, Biding, PPAs, Origination etc.
- Positions linked to engineering such as: energy assessment, wind turbines, site characteristics, procurement, foundations, offshore installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance and others.
- Transversal jobs in the areas of legal, H&S, HR and finance that support the development of the project.
What are the opportunities for young people? Do these opportunities respond to a search for meaning by the younger generations?
EMS: Young people are currently looking for professional opportunities in companies where they can integrate their values with the company's purpose. One of them is to improve the future of the planet through renewable energies. That is why at Ocean Winds, we believe that the opportunities for young people are innumerable and undoubtedly respond to this generation's search for meaning. We offer them our graduate program, which, in addition to providing experience and knowledge of the offshore sector, allows an overview of the company and the development of skills that will be important for our business and its future.
Is the situation different from one country to another?
EMS: We understand that it is. Currently, we have countries at different levels of maturity in the offshore wind business, and this has a direct reflection on the sector's labor market. Countries in the operation phase have an important attraction due to the greater number of specialized professionals and a high labor supply. On the other hand, countries in initial phases that do not yet have implemented projects or established regulations, have an important attraction, which is the challenge of building the business in the country. This will lead to a high geographical mobility of professionals interested in developing their careers in the sector.
Where do you hope to see the offshore wind sector in 15 years?
EMS: Offshore wind will be a key source of energy in the world energy transition. Today, 50 GW of offshore energy is fully commissioned, and it is expected that the total global offshore capacity (operational or foundations underway) will be 254 GW by end-2030. So we can say without doubts that in 15 years offshore wind sector will be one of the main green energy technologies, but ambitious targets announced almost by every country and technology evolution ensure a much promising future is ahead for the next decades in offshore wind towards a net zero world.
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