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RECRUITMENT

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

Profile for Smart Energy Council

Solar and Storage Progress Winter 2016  

The official journal of the Australian Solar Council and the Australian Energy Storage Council

Solar and Storage Progress Winter 2016  

The official journal of the Australian Solar Council and the Australian Energy Storage Council

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