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Gaining renewables sector experience on an offshore wind farm in Taiwan

Ross MacKay has known exactly what direction he wants his career to take ever since securing a short term contract in wind turbine pre-assembly, but getting there has proved a rocky road.

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9. September 2022

Like so many others, Ross has been impacted by the global pandemic, finding himself in and out of work over the last few years and taking on short-term contracts whenever they became available. In this very challenging job market, Ross has missed out on a number of opportunities as a result of not having the relevant certifications to allow him to work in an offshore role.

He’s exactly the type of person the energy transition recertification funding programme was created to help, and Ross is now in Taiwan employed by Global Wind Service in a permanent role.

“When I worked pre-assembly, I used to watch the guys coming in on the boat and thought ‘that’s what I want to be doing’ and I have finally got the chance to do this in Taiwan. I firmly believe that without the training I would not have been given this opportunity.”

Ross says that he jumped at the chance to get his courses funded at RelyOn Nutec and he now has the relevant qualifications required to work across both the offshore wind and oil and gas sectors. This has given him confidence in his career and has opened up doors for him as he is now getting contacted about many more jobs since adding those certificates to his CV.

His current role is offshore installation which sees him and his workmates collecting the various components of a wind turbine from quayside, including the tower, nacelle and blades. They sail out to the farm on a jack-up vessel and erect each turbine on site before heading back to shore to collect the next load.

Although Ross estimates there’s at least a decade of work available in Taiwan, he sees himself doing this job for a couple of years before returning closer to home. For the future, he says his dream job would be working off the coast of Aberdeen servicing wind turbines and working a stable rotation. This position with Global Wind Service is giving him the experience he needs to advance his career in offshore wind and is getting him one step closer to his final goal.

Concluding our interview we asked Ross if he had any tips for others who are striving to forge a career in the renewables sector and he had this to say: “I’d definitely recommend getting the Basic Technical Training (BTT) certificate as well as the Basic Safety Training (BST). Without it, you’ve got very little chance of getting a job unless you’ve got relevant technical experience in another industry. Most young people don’t have this experience, so the BTT definitely helps.”

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