Minister Harris launches Skillnet Ireland programme to tackle the staff shortage in the Wind Sector

Sep 6th, 2022

L-R: Wind Turbine Technician Shirley Costelloe; ESB Operations Manager Robert Farrell; Green Tech Skillnet Network Manager Mark Ruane; Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D.; Skillnet Ireland Director of Policy and Communications Tracey Donnery; Wind Turbine Technician Eduardo Rivero.

 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D. today announced the expansion of Green Tech Skillnet’s Wind Turbine Technician programme at ESB’s Raheenleagh Wind Farm near Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

With energy prices increasing, the need to move to domestically generated sustainable energy is becoming ever more apparent. The programme will provide a vital pipeline of workers with the green energy skills needed to meet Ireland’s 2030 targets for CO2 emissions reduction and renewable energy provision.

The programme is aimed at people with electrical, mechanical or engineering backgrounds and once complete the trainee will be certified with Wind Turbine Technicians. The course is delivered in two stages, the first phase being in-person technical training followed by an industry placement. The Green Tech Skillnet, the facilitator of the programme, works to support companies such as ESB, GE, EDF and Energia to name but a very few, in order to ensure that this industry has the skills and talent required to meet our climate action targets.

Launching the programme, Minister Harris said: “We have set ambitious climate targets for 2030 and ensuring we have the right talent is vital in making those commitments a reality. Today we launch the Wind Turbine Technicians programme from Green Tech Skillnet and Skillnet Ireland, which will play a critical role to ensure industry identified skills and talent requirements are met. My Department and I are delighted to support this programme through the National Training Fund, ensuring that we have qualified people ready to take up roles to tackle the climate crisis.”

Speaking at the launch Paul Healy, Chief Executive Skillnet Ireland said: “Skillnet Ireland are committed to delivering a talent pipeline so businesses are equipped with the skills needed to take climate action which we all know is urgently needed. We are working across multiple sectors, from FDI to SMEs to develop industry led training and upskilling initiatives which will be critical to achieving our climate action targets.”

Also commenting at the launch, Justin Moran, Director of External Affairs, Wind Energy Ireland: “With a massive ramp up in investment in Onshore and Offshore Wind in the coming years, there is a skills shortage in the number of wind technicians in Ireland. This programme designed in partnership with enterprise will train 30 wind turbine technicians in 2022, providing essential skills needed help meet Ireland’s Climate Action Plan targets.”

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