Recruitment in renewables: What you need to know
The renewables sector has experienced a boom in recent years, with 2015 seeing a new record for global investment in renewable energy. It was also a record in terms of new energy capacity added, with developing countries making up a substantial part of this growth. So what does this mean for recruitment activity in this industry?
At Quanta, we’ve been supplying skills to traditional and renewable energy sectors since 2002, officially creating the Quanta Renewable Energy division in 2007. We’re now a recognised supplier of contractors and employees to onshore and offshore wind, hydro and energy-from-waste projects.
Leading the team is Global Business Manager Richard Allen, who joined Quanta in 2014 having not previously worked in the sector. Despite this, he knew the renewables market was a massive growth opportunity and made it his mission to learn everything he could about both the industry itself and the people who work in it. He spoke to us about where the market is now and what might happen in the future.
What makes recruitment in renewables interesting?
The market is big, and within it there are some really exciting growth areas such as energy from waste and tidal power. This in itself makes it a really interesting market to recruit for. The Kyoto protocol has helped to strengthen the market in recent decades, as it meant governments committed themselves to targets of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. With more energy generated by a natural source in nations all over the world, this was and is a clear investment opportunity by both governments and organisations.
As the industry is relatively new, consultants can add a lot of value and really buy into what they’re recruiting for. It’s technology-based and we deal with a lot of really experienced engineers who have come from oil and gas.
What are your key strategies for recruiting in this sector?
With all recruitment, it’s important to understand what your candidates do and what their work might look like on a daily basis. For my team, I want consultants to know how to construct a wind farm, what skills are required to do so and the clients who have projects in the pipeline. If you can look ahead at what the industry is doing and what might happen in the future, you’ll be in a better place to support clients as these projects arise.
What’s happening in renewables at the moment?
The offshore wind market is our largest and generates the most electricity. In general, we’ve seen a massive investment across the whole of Europe, with the UK the current market leader. However, within the coming years I expect Germany to become the leading nation for renewable energy before the US and China catch up over the next decade.
From 2015-2020 it will be a candidate-driven market, where there will be too many projects and not enough candidates to fill roles. I expect this will be the case in the UK until 2020, while Germany will see a similar situation between 2018 and 2023. It will also be interesting to see how Brexit impacts the UK market over the next few years. Germany, Holland, Belgium and Denmark are the four big growth areas to watch and the majority of our candidates are UK-based contractors who travel around Europe to take up projects, so we have strategies in place to ensure we can continue providing support.
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