Deploying solar energy at a business scale is such a younger business that we’ve at all times had an enormous consumption of comparatively younger folks. It’s powerful to search out workers with a 20- or 30-year-long profession on this sector – there simply isn’t an abundance of that kind of expertise. We’re an business that’s continually evolving, and meaning there are new and thrilling profession paths being created all the time.
Lightsource bp has been creating photo voltaic tasks since 2010. We’ve constructed three-gigawatt (GW) of photo voltaic capability the world over (sufficient to energy round 1m houses), with about one other 16GW of photo voltaic tasks in varied phases of growth. We make use of 500 folks throughout 14 completely different nations and are increasing quick as demand for renewable power grows.
Within the UK, we’ve got traditionally taken on apprentices throughout the operations, upkeep and engineering facet of the enterprise. Apprenticeships final for 18 months and are usually discipline based mostly, with apprentices driving from website to website, shadowing skilled engineers and studying about performing upkeep duties throughout our photo voltaic farms. That sensible expertise enhances the technical information they study within the classroom, in addition to offering solar-specific coaching and abilities.
In 2021, we’re increasing that apprenticeship programme throughout the enterprise, bringing younger expertise into groups equivalent to enterprise growth, HR and communications. We like the range of thought that apprentices have. They carry a recent perspective to the way in which we work. There’s additionally a component of reverse mentoring, as their digital abilities specifically rub off on others.
When apprentices in operations use cellular know-how to assist them on a job, for instance, alongside engineers who solely actually ever use their telephones to make calls, it might actually speed up the evolution of abilities among the many entire workforce and establish new alternatives for improved efficiencies.
We’re open to a variety of academic backgrounds when recruiting candidates, however undoubtedly search for an curiosity in sustainability. We don’t should look very laborious for it – the youthful generations are rather more used to pondering and speaking about renewables as a key precedence for the long run.
We wish our apprentices to have an entrepreneurial spirit, and be agile thinkers who can adapt quick to altering know-how. These are additionally our future prospects and the truth that we are able to entry their insights is of unimaginable worth to us as an organisation.
The way forward for renewable power actually lies within the arms of right this moment’s apprentices. As employers, we’ve got an incredible alternative to nurture this subsequent technology of motivated, sustainability-minded leaders who will meet the world’s rising demand for renewable know-how. They’re prone to transfer throughout verticals – whether or not wind, photo voltaic or hydrogen – and being open-minded about collaboration throughout the sector will solely assist us to attain the objectives we’re all working in the direction of. Apprenticeships are an funding in a person’s future, however they’re additionally an funding within the renewable sector’s future.
Heather Hayes is the worldwide HR director for Lightsource bp. She was talking to Emma Sheppard