A new springboard for education in offshore wind

The new course has been developed in collaboration with an industry reference group.
by Arne Vatnøy
Communication manager

The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) and offshore wind industry players are collaborating to prepare for a new major industry. Norwegian Offshore Wind is supporting an initiative to develop further education courses in offshore wind and marine operations.

The first course at HVL providing an introduction to offshore wind is now open for applicants and is set to start just after the new year. This course is part of a larger effort at HVL, which, in collaboration with an industry reference group, will also develop a course based on strong expertise in maritime operations.

-We know that we will have a huge demand for skilled workers in offshore wind, and we need to do everything we can to close the education gap, says Chris Harman, Innovation Manager in Norwegian Offshore Wind. 

Harman has been part of the reference group with other industry representatives. 


Job creation on the west coast

-We are at the heart of floating offshore wind in Norway. There is already a strong offshore wind industry presence in the Haugalandet region, with test turbines at MetCentre off Karmøy, Norwegian Offshore Wind in Haugesund, and a leading supply chain industry. The development could create thousands of jobs, and the transition requires increased expertise in offshore wind, says Lene Jørgensen, the course coordinator and associate professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL).

-Haugalandet has a proud industrial tradition, a good ability to adapt, proximity to Utsira Nord, and expertise from the oil and gas sector that can be transferred to the offshore wind industry. Local competency development and relevant education pathways focused on offshore wind will strengthen our ability to deliver and solidify Haugalandet's position as an offshore wind region in Norway, says Kjetil Jacobsen, project director at Deep Wind Offshore.

We need to do everything we can to close the education gap in offshore wind

Chris Harman, Innovation Manager in Norwegian Offshore Wind

Introduction to Offshore Wind

HVL aims to gain experience and be inspired to explore new opportunities based on their existing portfolio of studies. The course can be further developed into an elective or combined with other relevant existing subjects to create a comprehensive offshore wind course package.

-To ensure local value creation, we must facilitate adaptation and enhance competence. The starting shot is fired with the introductory course, which will provide fundamental knowledge about offshore wind. This is tailored to various target groups and offers flexibility to participate alongside their jobs. We believe the course is relevant for both recent graduates, employees in the supplier industry, and local municipalities, says Jørgensen.

The developer from Haugesund Deep Wind Offshore has also been part of the reference group.

-It is reassuring to know the level of competence that suppliers possess, especially for us who want to recruit locally. We are pleased to be able to contribute to relevant further education courses in collaboration with HVL and other local industry players, says Kjetil Jakobsen, project director at Deep Wind Offshore, who himself has 30 years of experience from Aibel in Haugesund.

The reference group for the new offshore wind course consists of Karmsund Port, Deep Wind Offshore, Deep Ocean/Windstaller Alliance, and Norwegian Offshore Wind.


High Demand for Workforce

A recent report by Menon Economics estimates that there will be a need for around 16,000 people in the offshore wind industry by 2030 and approximately 25,000 by 2035. This report was commissioned by Norwegian Offshore Wind and Tekna. 

- We see a need to further strengthen and develop equipment and expertise across multiple disciplines. We will challenge and push boundaries by building on existing knowledge. It is important that we collaborate with the business sector and educational institutions to establish exciting, innovative, and well-respected educational programs that are relevant to the industry in the years to come, says Camilla Remøy Gudmundson, HR and communications director at Karmsund Port.

Earlier this year, the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences received 4.3 million Norwegian kroner from the maritime industry program under the Directorate for Higher Education and Competence, with part of the funds allocated to offshore wind-related courses in collaboration with Deep Wind Offshore, Østensjø Rederi, and Maritim Forum.

-HVL is pleased to collaborate with the industry to develop these courses. In addition to the offshore wind course, several courses for the maritime industry will also be developed. These are small, flexible, standalone modules suitable for people working on land and at sea, says Jørgensen.

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