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GWO Growth in the Wind Industry

Updated: Feb 22

The past few years have seen tremendous growth within the wind sector; with British wind farms producing 26.8% of the country's electricity in 2022, a record high as reported by the national grid. Producing this electricity requires a large workforce to install and inspect the wind turbines utilised, as all technicians must hold valid GWO certificates to ascend a wind turbine. But how many workers have completed these GWO courses? How does this compare to previous years? Let’s take a look.



To obtain a GWO certificate, you must first be trained in a relevant GWO course. By the end of 2022, 517 GWO training providers were identified to deliver courses across 51 countries, a 22% increase from the previous year. Moreover, the number of individuals who took at least one GWO training module also increased by 12% when compared to the previous year; as over 91,000 people took at least one module in 2022. When viewing this increase in training providers and the minimum number of courses taken, it should come as no surprise that over 364,000 training modules were delivered worldwide, along with 149,800 workers being fully trained to GWO standards. Statistics such as these highlight the incredible growth in worker safety and wind industry growth as when compared to 2017, training records increased by over 220,000. Moreover, the United Kingdom had the largest GWO active workforce compared to other regions, with 17,892 active UK workforce members by the end of 2022, over 3,000 more than the 2nd largest region of Spain.


To encourage more workers to begin working within the wind industry, the GWO Entry Level Framework (ELF) was introduced in October 2022 to guide basic safety and technical training, job profile information and demystify the requirements needed to work on wind turbines for potential new entrants to the industry.



Increase in Safer at Work efforts


To align with the increased worker demand and opportunities, Safer at Work opened up a Gateshead-based facility in 2022. With Winchester and Gateshead locations now available for safety training, individuals can receive their initial or refresher GWO certificates from the north or south of the United Kingdom. Additional facilities were also constructed to coincide with this dramatic GWO growth; with a 6-metre model turbine, fire simulation training room and working at height training hub among others now being available for training usage. Using these facilities for GWO courses helps improve the immersion and realism of being in an onshore or offshore emergency, while also contributing to the wider GWO community efforts by improving wind industry standards.



New GWO courses and training were also implemented across our Gateshead and Winchester locations as a way of providing more entry-level modules and additional bespoke courses. For example, the added GWO Blade Repair module now allows trainees to complete their GWO Basic Technical Training (BTT), an essential certificate that is needed to scale and repair a wind turbine. Onsite and enhanced first aid training were also two crucial GWO courses added to improve GWO and risk assessment standards: As these safety standards improve, so has the combined number of these courses completed worldwide, with a 10% increase in training records when compared to the previous year. Other bespoke and BTT courses such as Hydraulic and Electrical Training were also introduced in Safer at Work’s GWO efforts last year. With these courses, trainees can now perform a majority of the GWO BTT courses required to perform their Wind Technician Services (O&M) at specific sites, therefore growing the GWO’s market distribution and workforce.



To view the GWO courses we provide and how they can help you become a wind technician, visit our courses page - https://www.saferatwork.com/gwo-courses, or contact us at heather.lynn@renewable-fs.com to see how we can provide what services you require.

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