Renewable Energy has been identified by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) as a growth area for job creation.  One of the areas which provide employment opportunity is in the servicing and maintaining of wind turbines.  KLP has funded a series of specialised courses in this sector aimed in part at unemployed people who have worked in the construction industry.  Working with Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA), twelve participants underwent an intensive training process in the Glas Learning Centre, Ennisnag and a specialised wind energy centre in Wexford. They each received a UK Renewables Association certificate upon completion, which is a requirement for those who want to work at heights on turbines.

KLP ran an intensive 6-day training programme targeted at the unemployed, equipping them to work in this industry. The 12 participants spent four days in the Glas Learning Centre in Ennisnag learning about the industry and safety aspects of working inside a turbine. They then spent two days in Wexford at a new state-of-the- art facility, purpose-built to train people to work at heights. They received a certificate upon completion, approved by the UK Renewables Association, which is a requirement for those who want to work at heights on turbines.  This successful course will run again shortly with recruitment taking place in February or early March.

Peter Donnolly from Kilkenny, who completed the course, secured a job with Cork based company O’Brien Crane Hire. He said that having the working at heights UK Renewables cert really helped him to obtain the job. He will also get further training in electrical and mechanical installations in his new job. He found the course a huge advantage when learning about the operation of wind turbines.

KLP is happy to hear of the usefulness of its courses in supporting employment of rural people.  We are confident that many more jobs will emerge in this sector in the near future and we will be watching its development with interest.

Anyone interested in doing training in Wind Energy please contact Siobhan in the KLP Office 056 7752111