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Wind Energy Training demonstrate all the required and valid certificates. One of the first training centres ever to be certified by GL in accordance with the GWO standard was the Polish akademia_wiatru. Often, providers have to make an initial investment to meet the requirements. Such an investment may include climbing towers that meet the minimum height of 7 m. However, the efforts to get certified are worthwhile because manufacturers require their employees to be certified in accordance with the new standard. “We qualify employees for Siemens and Vestas, and offer all of the modules prescribed by the GWO standards,” says Dmitrj Smirnov, the Sales Manager at wiatru. Work without barriers The new standard helps the industry as a whole because for the first time it offers basic training which is accepted not only by individual manufacturers and other companies in the wind industry, but also by the authorities in the respective countries. In this area, in particular, difficulties have frequently arisen when different or additional occupational safety requirements were imposed. That made working abroad Sun & Wind Energy 8+9/2014 difficult. “The GWO standard is universally accepted as a basis. That has eliminated these barriers. This helps the entire wind industry enormously,” says Jakob Lau Holst of the Danish Wind Industry Organisation. After all, the Danes are heavily invested in this business. “Another advantage is, of course, that the employees get the best training. That means they are tied up for a few days, but then the company does not have to pay for double training anymore,” he adds. Most of these GWO-certified training centres are located in the United Kingdom. Recently, the Mines Rescue Service, together with the manufacturer Senvion, commissioned a new wind turbine facility, including an MD 70 wind turbine in order to train service technicians for onshore facilities. Even Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing made sure not to miss the opening date. At the inauguration, he hit the nail right on the head. “The continued growth in the sector offers a great opportunity for companies such as Mines Rescue Service to expand and diversify, and this is helping to support employment and training throughout Scotland.” However, most of the training centres are located on English territory. Mines Rescue now maintains six training centres, two of which are equipped with a wind turbine and specifically tailored to the wind industry. “Of course, the new centre in Crossgates helps companies based in Scotland to save on travel and accommodation costs for their employees. We now offer first rate training,” says Errol Parrish, Operations Manager at Mines Rescue, looking at the practical side of the issue. Chip card access In any case, the companies in the British Isles seem to be capitalising quite well on the booming demand A climbing tower at least 7 m high is one of the requirements for centres that want to train to the GWO standard. The result is a flourishing business for certified vendors. When formerly country-specific safety training certificates expire, for instance, opportunity knocks for the training centres. Everyone affected needs refresher training. The GWO basic course takes 6.5 days to complete all of the modules. In addition, the validity periods for the individual modules are limited. That means that regular refresher courses are on the programme to ensure that staff can 22


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