GWO training increases by 56% in North America


Global Wind Organisation (GWO) training providers in North America returned to action quickly after COVID-19 lockdown eased, with courses in the first six months of 2020 increasing by 56 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

The results are published in GWO’s Half Year Report, Training in the Pandemic, which reveals that while activity across the global network fell by as much as minus-86 percent during March, April, and May owing to COVID-19 lockdown, North American training centers were still able to train more people in 2020.

This growth was driven by several newly established training centers opening their doors and adding capacity to the network as wind-energy employers in North America increasingly request the standard for their workforces.

“Despite the pandemic, GWO remains on course to meet the annual target our members set last year to double the number of new training centers, courses completed, and certification bodies able to audit GWO training centers,” said Wesley Witt, head of Quality Management and Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and chair of GWO North America Committee. “I thank all our GWO training providers across North America who have safely delivered training throughout the past several months by making modifications to facilities and classrooms, among other actions, while continuing to help achieve our vision of an injury free work environment.”

Global safety training volumes fell minus-15 percent in the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period one year earlier. While the total of courses declined in Europe, growth also continued in Asia/Pacific.

“It was encouraging to see how quickly GWO training providers returned following lockdown,” said Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation. “In most cases, they have continued this increased activity into Q3. Our members are the world’s largest employers in wind power, and they have supported training providers during COVID-19 by developing standards and requirements for virtual classroom training and blended learning solutions with digital elements. There are now over 40 training providers around the world certified to provide digital or virtual courses. At the beginning of 2020, there was just one, so there are more options available should the worst effects of lockdown return.”

“The first half of 2020 was the most challenging period many of us has ever experienced, and, unfortunately, it appears, for a number of countries, the spread of the virus has increased again,” said Paul Robbins, chief health and safety specialist at Vestas and chair of GWO. “However, our commitment to safety is the priority. Technicians will be required to install and maintain our growing wind power infrastructure in spite of many risks posed by COVID-19, and I believe the GWO network is well prepared to support our workforce and ride out the worst effects of any repeat situation this winter.”

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