Empowering Engineering Excellence: Training 310.000 professionals.
Jan van der Tempel, Niels Diepeveen, Thijs Kamphuis
DOB-Academy, Delft, The Netherlands
The offshore wind industry is picking up pace. Records in price reduction are following on monthly basis: 7ct, 6ct, 5ct per kWh. Soon, offshore wind could go without subsidy. The cornerstone of energy transition is reaching its impact potential. But can the workforce keep up?
Offshore wind is very multi diciplinary, hig-tech and evolving very quickly. With the current rate of deployment thousands of new jobs will appear. But at the low strike price the margin for mistakes is slim.
In the transition towards sustainable energy production, the offshore wind industry will grow a stagering 310.000 new jobs over the coming decades. With oil and gas slowly reducing its work force in the same era at a total of about 280.000 there is a transition to be made.
Student training at all levels is increasing, but will only account for part of the growing work force. Training for professionals is required on a large scale to re-train people from other back grounds to get a grip on offshore wind.
A unique industry initative in Delft The Netherlands is set up to face this challenge. In the former library of TUDelft, an institute was founded to address the retraining of personnel to become offshore wind professionals.
This paper shows the results of 2 years of development and an outlook on the future. The DOB-Academy is a commercial institute by and for the industry. But its learning is also shared to vocational education to help accelerate student training as well.
Building new companies in a new industry such as offshore wind, requires significant investment in skill training of staff. And most new staff will not have the required background as offshore wind simply is too young an industry to have found full teaching potential at school levels.
At DOB-Academy, industry experts are teaming up to generate courses from their hands-on experience in offshore wind and find new ways to swiftly and efficiently train new entrants to the industry.
The training is structured in 3 layers: theoretical class room lectures, practical excersizes to create understanding of the theory and industry expert story telling to re-enforce the lessons learned.
In this paper, we will show the results of 2 courses: Introduction to Offshore Wind and Offshore Wind farm design. The setup and learning methodology is shared in the paper and effectiveness of the 3-layer approach is demonstrated.
Also the process of transferring the teaching methods to vocational (school) education is described. In this step the knowledge is transfered to teachers of these schools via teach-the-teacher sessions to spread the educational material to that level in the education system as well.
The methodology described in this paper works well. Hands-on experience of industry experts is transformed into training material. The material is kept up-to date through continuous inflow of new material by changing teachers. The new recruits in companies get a very quick and in-depth introduction into the details of the offshore wind industry. And the material seeps through to vocational education institutes that normally to not have extensive networks with industry.
Delegates will learn of a new educational methodology to help train the required tens of thousands of new recruits in the offshore wind industry. They will be inspired either to come join the iniative as expert and trainers, or as novices to some areas of expertise in the offshore wind sector.
Teachers of education institutes will learn a way to connect to the industry and receive up-to-date teaching material to set-up or improve their courses on offshore wind.