Solar firms must adapt to attract talent, our Managing Director tells PV Tech mag

As the solar industry's demand for talent increases, concerns are being raised that a shortage of skilled workers could hamper growth. Our Managing Director, Onshore Renewables discusses the solutions with PV Tech magazine.

Jamie Taylor, Managing Director of Onshore Renewables at leading renewable energy recruitment consultants Taylor Hopkinson, with the text: "The talent pool is stretched... companies unwilling to offer perks like flexible working may have to pay a premium."

The solar sector’s efforts to ease a looming skills gap are a key topic of discussion in the latest issue of PV Tech magazine.

The industry is looking to accelerate deployment as demand grows – a scenario that in turn increases global demand for experienced talent. Solar power employs a third of the global renewables workforce – around 4 million people in 2020, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

That number could rise to 20 million by 2050, and with 83% of solar employers in the US already reporting difficulties in sourcing qualified candidates, the market is set to get even more competitive. Asked about what the future looks like for hiring in the solar industry, our Managing Director, Onshore Renewables Jamie Taylor says that the pool of available talent is becoming stretched because companies are vying for candidates with the same skillsets, inflating salaries. He also highlights closer alignment on budgets and flexible working as two key opportunities for firms to improve their likelihood of landing the right people.

From PV Tech magazine:

Jamie Taylor, Taylor Hopkinson’s Managing Director, Onshore Renewables, says there is an influx of demand for talent in the UK solar developer space, with companies expanding or setting up teams and all looking for the same skillset – someone with a track record in originating and developing utility-scale solar PV farms.

“This poses its own challenges as demand outstrips supply and the talent pool is stretched, with salaries for this skillset becoming inflated and companies vying for the same candidates,” he says.

Among the challenges that solar companies face when sourcing suitable candidates, Taylor says, include budget expectations not being aligned with market rates and inflexibility on candidate location and working patterns. He says companies that are unwilling to offer flexible working – a perk that is often top of candidates’ wish lists – may need to pay a premium to secure the right talent.

Growth in Europe’s solar sector has been consistent, but bigger challenges could be ahead in the USA, where growth is exponential and talent availability cannot keep pace.

In the full article, it’s also revealed that installation and construction roles make up the vast majority of solar jobs in the US, at 67% of the total, with manufacturing jobs making up 14%. Sales and distribution comprise 11% and 4% respectively, while 4% work in support functions like finance and legal. Clearly, with experienced professionals in high demand, training and talent development has to be an industry focus in coming years if US and EU net zero targets are to be met.

Read the full article for more insight on the solar skills gap, and get in touch with our expert team of solar specialists for help with your 2022 hiring plans. We’ve been placing professionals in the US for over a decade, becoming a trusted recruitment partner to 7 of the top 10 manufacturers, and we have a rapidly-growing base of Tier 1 and 2 clients.

We’re ideally placed to help build your team or find your next role in this exciting market.

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