How virtual reality is helping close skill gaps in renewable energy sector
The renewable energy sector is growing fast. Global renewable energy employment reached 10.3 million jobs in 2017, an increase of 5.3% compared tothe previous year. An increasing number of countries derive socio-economic benefits from renewable energy. Majority of employment in renewable energy sector are in countries like China, Brazil, India, United States, Germany and Japan. As per the IRENA database, solar photovoltaic (PV) and bioenergy industries have experienced the strongest expansion
Fast expansion in the sector has led to shortage of sufficiently skilled workers for employment and created mismatch between skill requirement and availability. There is a rising need for companies in this sector to invest in upgrading worker’s skillset. Traditional training methods have proven to be inadequate in addressing this issue. A key challenge to the energy industry will be to align education and training to meet the emerging skill needs. The employment associated with renewable project tends to demand for engineers, technicians and assemblers needed in the manufacture, project development, installation and maintenance phases. To meeting the skills challenge is required to design and implement the best possible skills development responses.
As per the Global Energy Talent Index (2017), 59% of employers in the renewable energy can overcome the skills gap with additional training and development. Companies are widely utilizing non-traditional training methodologies like VR simulators, to help their operators develop job specific knowledge and technical skills. VR training simulators offer engaging gamified 3D and VR content that drives user engagement and maximizes knowledge retention. The training programmes train employees to assess energy resources as a whole, design installations while gaining an in depth knowledge on the hardware and technological components.
In a VR simulated environment, operators can be trained to handle complex work scenarios that helps lower the margin for onsite errors especially involving damage to equipment’s and human lives. With integrated learning management system, employers can identify operator’s skill gap with advanced analytics and customize training content to offer targeted training and close any skill gap. With customized VR training content, employers retrain the employees and get them certified for their specialized skillset. VR training is becoming a popular option to overcome challenges of old training methods to improve operator’scompetence and maximize productivity while lowering the cost and risk of business operations.
The need for renewables energy system keeps expanding on a global level. Career opportunities in this sectors have increased the requirements for individuals with diverse skill-sets and talents. Studies show that jobs in the sector could rise from 10.3 million in 2017 to 23.6 million in 2030 and 28.8 million in 2050. It is necessary for employers to formulate appropriate education and training initiatives to support new workers on boarding and retain skilled and experienced employees. Young professionals’ and students’ need to be made aware of the growing demand in the energy sector and have training or technical specialisation programmes more accessible.
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