More universities should offer under-graduate engineering courses tailored towards renewable energy industry to keep up with rapidly rising demand.
That’s the view of ATA, one of the UK’s leading recruitment consultancies in the engineering, rail, energy, technical sales and construction sectors.
Just a handful of UK universities currently offer engineering courses focusing specifically on renewable energy.
And it is leading to a huge skills shortage as so-called green energies, like wind power, solar power and geothermal energy, become more and more popular.
Indeed the soon to be published Renewable Energy Strategy seeks to drive up the use of renewable energy in the UK as part of an overall strategy for tackling climate change and to meet our share of the EU target to source 20 per cent of the EU's energy from renewable sources by 2020.
And this will inevitably push demand for graduates with the right training even higher.
“Many universities now offer post-graduate courses, or parts of courses, in renewable energy, but only a small number have addressed this at an under-graduate level. This needs to be looked at as a matter of urgency to ensure the rising demand for properly-educated engineers relevant to the modern workplace can be met in the longer term,” said Gary Hewett, Managing Director of ATA Energy.
“We are well-placed to spot the potential in the sector and the already growing demand that is not being tracked by educational provision. It is no longer just specialist companies which are investing in renewable energy technologies, but enterprises across the board.
“On shore and off shore wind, solar, tidal energy, biomass, biofuel and ground source energy are growing in importance and will continue to do so, particularly in light of the forthcoming Renewable Energy Strategy.
“Earlier this year, ATA formed an energy division in recognition of the growing importance of the sector – and we have been inundated with firms looking for individuals who specialise in renewable energy. Only by more universities expanding their curriculum in recognition of the market trends will we be able to keep up with demand.
“To bridge the gap, what we are able to offer is expertise in matching transferable skills. Historically over the past few years, there has been a shortage of skilled engineers. Now, with the current economic climate, some engineers in other sectors are finding opportunities shrinking, so there is a surplus.
“We are looking at suitable transferable skills in order to fill the demand in the renewable energy sector. We have a pool of very talented engineers whose skills can easily transfer over to the sector with minimal disruption to fill current needs.
“In the longer term though, and in anticipation of an eventual market upturn, education centres need to be looking now to investing in courses to train the renewable energy engineers of tomorrow.”
Formed in 1963, ATA matches candidates' career aspirations with client expectations. Each candidate is interviewed by ATA’s team of consultants, each experts within their sector, before being recommended to a client to ensure they are suitable. This approach positively impacts on those businesses striving to improve staff retention by ensuring that the right candidate is placed for each vacancy.
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