"We are not only talking about engineers, but also mechanics, electricians, installers, maintenance technicians... The energy transition is one of the key objectives at European and national level in the framework of decarbonization and will generate a huge demand for professionals and specific companies, with an impact on the auxiliary industry and services".
In a context in which Galicia brings together enough experience, resources and know-how to lead areas such as wind or offshore wind inEurope, Oriol Sarmiento, Manager of the Renewable Energy Cluster of Galicia (Cluergal), is clear that the community has the potential to catalyze a good part of the new jobs generated by the sector in our country.
This is not a trivial matter. First, because the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) estimates that the energy transition and the commitment to go green will create between 253,000 and 348,000 net jobs per year in Spain until 2030.
Second, because these figures take on special significance in a community like ours, historically emigrant and tired of talent escaping: in the decade following the 2008 crisis, 50,000 of our young people went abroad.
"Naturgy gave me the opportunity of a lifetime."
"In Physics it is very common to leave to look for work outside Spain, but I always wanted to stay and when Naturgy offered me this job: honestly, it was like fulfilling a dream."
Truth and illusion come together in the voice of Sabela Muñoz from Ferrol, who decided to specialize in renewables and take the MERYCSE Master's Degree at the USC thanks to an elective she took in the third year of her degree: "I loved the subject and I liked the idea of contributing to the fight against climate change. I loved the course and I liked the idea of contributing to the fight against climate change. As soon as I entered the master's program, I realized that I had made the right choice," she says.
So much so that, in fact, Sabela had already found a job before finishing it in February of this year: "I never imagined such an opportunity for professional development, and even less so with such good working conditions," she says and has no doubts: "Naturgy gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
Tractor projects that show that it is possible
The subject in which Muñoz found her way was called Physics of Energy and the professor who taught it was José A. Rodríguez Añón, also coordinator of the master's degree and whose testimony allows us to see that the case of this student is not isolated: "The opportunity exists and is there. The placement rate is very high and, in fact, more than half of the students get a contract before they have finished", says the expert, for whom the energy transition canmark a before and after in Galicia's industrial model if "it is done well".
In this sense, he insists on the importance of betting on the development of research in the regional universities: "Companies like Naturgy, with which we collaborate in the master's degree, are proposing very interesting projects in Galicia, proposals attached to the territory that can be a driving force and demonstrate that it is possible".
More demand than students in vocational training
"Before, we used to call the companies. Now, they call us".
Beni Sabreu is tutor of the second course and practices in the Higher Cycle of Renewable Energies at the CIFP Valentín Paz Andrade in Vigo. He talks about 100% placement and even goes further: "There is a lot of demand, mainly for wind andsolar-photovoltaic. In recent years, it has grown to the point that it now exceeds the number of students. We used to call the companies and now they are calling us.
For Sabreu, renewables offer a clear and optimistic future for students, and this is noticeable in the classroom. As those who work in the training sector are well aware, every job opportunity generated has an impact far beyond the statistics on paper: "I've been a trainee tutor for 15 years and I lived through the 2008 crisis, which was also a motivational crisis for many young people. Now, the situation is different, they know it and that is very motivating for them", says the teacher of this cycle, which enables students to work both in the field and in technical office projects.
And from the first opportunities to the second because the Galician wind power industry is also offering the perfect opportunity to retrain those who are committed to quality employment. This is the case of Cipriano García Conde, who at the age of 40 decided that he wanted to leave the hotel business and "do something different with his life".
That is how he started the FP Dual cycle of Mechatronics at CIFP Ferrolterra, in the province of A Coruña. This training program gave him the opportunity to do an internship at the Galician company Tecnorenova, which offered him an employment contract. A change that has allowed him to gain in salary, quality of life and working conditions, as well as to travel around a large part of Europe and Latin America, where the company has wind power projects.