Industry recruitment: the outlook Liz Floyd of industry recruitment specialist Polyglot Group presents insights into the impact of industry policy and confidence on employment opportunities in the sector and resulting recruitment trends.
“What is happening in the market?” A very open ended question you
estimates additional capacity of around 9000 MW of large-scale
might think, however this is by far the most common query we are asked
renewables projects that have already received development approval –
as specialist recruiters in the renewable energy sector.
and if built, will be more than sufficient to meet the 2020 target.
May 18, 2016 marks the anniversary of the bipartisan deal on Australia’s
However, given the typical project lifecycles of any solar farm above
RET reached between the Federal and Labor Governments. The deal
50 MW result in at least nine to 12 months of construction from financial
followed 15 months of significant uncertainty across the sector as well as
close, the worrying news is that one-third of this 9000 MW amount needs
lost investment confidence caused by the review of the policy.
to be committed this year.
Thanks to the bipartisan deal, the past year has solidified policy certainty,
Polyglot Group’s Renewable Energy Recruitment & HR Consulting
which combined with a variety of other factors, has rendered Australia an
division has witnessed a recent trend of a significant increase in the
attractive destination for utility-scale solar farms, as well as an increased
demand for experienced professionals with skills in Project Development of
adopter of Commercial and Industrial scale solar system installation.
solar farms starting at site selection, land-holder liaison, managing of the
However, the recruitment trends Polyglot continues to witness across the different sub-sectors of the solar industry vary significantly depending on the skill set of the resources being recruited. Below we have outlined
Land and Environmental approvals, and technical due diligence up to the financial close stage. Since Broken Hill construction was completed, Nyngan and Moree
the developments we have witnessed being at the forefront of Search &
solar farms (in which Polyglot sourced and managed the entire workforce
Recruitment across the sector.
for Elecnor – the EPC Contractor for the project), a significant number
Utility-scale solar farms In a recent report on the progress of Australia’s national Renewable
of construction staff were left out of work following the Construction completion for all three plants. In stark contrast to the current over-supply of construction staff that
Energy Target, the Clean Energy Regulator warned that as much as
include Project Managers and Engineers, Site superintendents, Health &
3000 MW of new-build capacity will need to be committed in 2016
safety and Environmental Managers for large scale solar farms, Polyglot
alone if the country is to meet the 33,000 GWh target. The CER report
and many in the industry are predicting that there will be a significant
“Polyglot and many in the industry are predicting that there will be a significant shortage of white and blue collar construction staff from quarter four 2016.”
Recruitment specialist Polyglot says Australia has become an attractive destination for utility-scale solar farms and is adopting more commercial and industrial scale solar system installations. However trends across industry sub-sectors vary significantly depending on the skill set of the resources being recruited. 38 WINTER Image courtesy2016 ARENA
The official journal of the Australian Solar Council and the Australian Energy Storage Council