As a GWO training instructor, Andy shares his first-hand knowledge and expert skills every day, supporting the development of the growing wind sector workforce.
What is your background prior to becoming GWO training instructor?
I first joined the wind sector in 2014, having worked within a variety of roles for some of the key industry players, gaining hands-on experience across all the stages of wind farm development, both onshore and offshore.
After joining AIS Survivex in 2019, I have been able to apply my skills and knowledge in delivery of GWO approved courses, ranging from Advanced Rescue Training (ART) to working at heights, to fire awareness and more.
Why is wind safety important to you?
Wind safety is important to me, personally I’ve worked in the industry so I know just how many hazards there are both on and offshore, even in the pre-assembly stage. It’s the nature of the environment there’s tonnes of hazards. I’ve been there, I’ve done it and I know how hazardous it can be. So it’s really important that we make it as safe as possible.
Having worked within the wind industry prior to its recent growth, what changes have you noticed?
In the recent years, the industry has evolved not only in terms of its size and scalability of projects but also the level and quality of standards and skills, having become more safety conscious. And, of course, as the awareness of the industry continuous to increase, so does the training demand. I see more and more delegates coming through the door; from ones starting their career in the sector to those who either wish to further enhance or refresh their current wind qualification to the delegates who wish to requalify from another industry. I’m here to support them all on their journey, no matter their circumstance or background. It’s not just their training I talk about, but also about careers; who the big employers are, what projects are happening at the moment, I even see delegates talking to each other and sharing opportunities whilst on the course.
In your opinion, what is crucial to building a strong workforce?
Making sure that the course is relevant and applicable is key. As the world engages in the energy transition, I want to ensure that our training reflects current trends and that the delegates don’t just leave our courses with a certificate, but also skills and knowledge that they can apply every day at their workplace.
My goal is to create an immersive - and fun - programme for the delegates by applying a blended training approach, including both classroom-based learning as well as our industry-leading practical areas and equipment, which gives the delegates a chance to practice their skills in as near to real-life scenarios as possible.
Why should someone consider entering the wind and renewables sector?
There is a clear shift happening in the industry off the back of the energy transition and a re-focus to renewable energy, so there has never been a better time to enter the wind industry, with a great need for highly skilled and trained workforce. Whether you are only just entering the job market or you’re looking to refocus your career, with the right training you can become a part of this exciting, booming sector, and help shape the future of the wider energy industry.
In addition to a rewarding career, you will meet some amazing people from around the world that you would never have met otherwise, and will build relationships that will last you a life-time. I can speak from experience.
What drives you in your career?
I’d like the people I’m sending out into the industry to be as safe as they can be for each other. That’s the only way we’re going to get to zero harm, by being as safe and conscious as we can be for each other. Each day I get to meet new people, share my experiences and I think it’s those experiences which add to the course and is the key element that makes people come back to us over and again. The future of the industry depends on the people who work within it, and I take a great pride that I am playing such a big role in creating skills for the wind industry, essentially the skilled workforce of the future.
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