Windar already employs 80 workers at Navantia and needs to train more personnel


The Xunta de Galicia says it will start the naval qualification courses after the summer.

The construction of the 42 jackets -structures that hold the wind turbines in the offshore wind farms- for Iberdrola’s East Anglia One wind farm in the United Kingdom has already begun at the Navantia Fene facilities, where Windar Renovables already has around 80 people assigned to it. to this work. However, as with previous industry assignments, the company is already planning training because it admits it will need more staff. The Asturian company had held welding courses at its Avilés facilities to equip itself with personnel to deal with the construction work of five superstructures for a Statoil floating park.

Other companies in the sector have been expressing since last year the need for training plans to be put in place, in order to adjust their staffing needs to the works they are going to have to face in the short and medium term.

Both the Galician Association of Metallurgical Industrialists (Asime) and the Galician Shipbuilding Cluster Association (Aclunaga) have been meeting with the Xunta for months in order to plan actions to meet the demands of this market. The regional government announced in March the implementation of a Galician plan, with 12 million euros, to qualify 3,000 workers in the region and modernise training centres in Ferrol and Vigo. Yesterday, the Regional Ministry of Industry assured that, in the Caranza centre, “the improvement plan has already begun with the renovation of computer equipment and improved accessibility” and added that “the work will continue with the renovation of the mechanics, welding, piping, electricity, electronics, gas and plumbing, IT and human resources workshops”. Overall, the investment in these improvements will amount to half a million euros.

In processing

Sources of the department that directs Francisco Conde admitted that the courses, so much the directed ones to unemployed as the workers in active, still have not started and are in processing. They set after the summer as the deadline for the start of the actions.

The Xunta informs however that, until July 30th, the application period will be open so that the naval companies with more than 50 workers can opt for the training units. “The companies will be able to program the training they need adapted to their production needs. With this program, the Xunta finances 100% of the training and will incentivate the hiring of the trained people with support that can reach 9.000 euros”, he informs.

Óscar Gómez, manager of Aclunaga, assured that although the training needs in the short term are easier to solve, there is a catalogue of professions for which there is no qualification in the official centres, like the scaffolders, but they are needed for the sector. For this reason, he defended the fact that there should be regular calls for applications and not just on a one-off basis. In addition, he defended the implementation of other programmes with skills that firms also need, such as commercial management and strategic planning.

Enrique Mallón, secretary general of Asime, insisted on the need for training in the sector. “It is still needed and there is no shortage of centres to provide it,” he said, while stressing the need to bring back a large number of workers who went abroad during the years of the sector’s collapse.