Bridging the Solar Skills Gap

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As the solar industry experiences unprecedented growth, an underlying challenge has surfaced – the Solar Skills Gap. This gap is not a barrier but an opportunity to upskill and reskill workers, find diverse candidates who have transferable skills, and build a robust talent pipeline. Use this as an outline or a roadmap for strategic hiring.

  • Identify Key Roles In The Landscape 

The renewable energy industry employs close to 9 million people worldwide, and 4 million in the solar sector alone according to the IEA. The renewable energy industry as a whole has a shortage of highly skilled professionals required to meet current demands. Though there has been a lot of growth in the industry – The IEA found green hiring outpaced overall hiring in 2023, there is still not enough experienced talent to go around. 

Pinpoint the key roles that play pivotal roles in bridging the Solar Skills Gap. From engineers to project managers, outline the strategic positions that can drive success in your organization. Highlight growth opportunities, and offer attractive compensation packages to interest individuals in these key roles. 

  • Embrace Continuous Learning

LinkedIn’s lead senior public policy manager told GreenBiz that globally, only 1 in 8 employees have the renewable energy skills needed to drive the green transition. Because the solar industry is evolving rapidly, the skills of its workforce must be as well. Upskilling and reskilling workers are crucial to the deployment of renewable in the United States and all over the world. Explore ways to instill a culture of continuous learning within your organization, ensuring your team remains at the forefront of industry advancements.

Discover the benefits of strategic partnerships and how they can contribute to skill development and talent acquisition. Collaborate with educational institutions and invest in training and development opportunities such as certifications to attract and retain top talent. A Boston Consulting Group study found that only about 40% of the required workers will need only limited training.

  • Assess Transferable Skills

Sometimes the perfect individual might come from an unexpected background. Learn how to assess transferable skills and identify people who bring unique perspectives to your team. A diverse workforce brings diverse skills. Identify the core competencies essential for success in a given role and explore candidates with similar experience in different segments of the renewables industry that could be applicable to the position you are trying to fill. 

According to Forbes, 43% of candidates say they are at least somewhat confident that they can identify their transferable skills. By reassessing traditional hiring criteria and recognizing the value of diverse experiences, hiring managers can help to bridge the skills gap. 

  • Build A Robust Talent Pipeline

The U.S. Department of Energy found that More than 84% of net new electric power generation jobs last year were in renewables. Building a talent pipeline is a proactive approach to addressing skill shortages. Explore strategies for cultivating relationships with potential candidates and maintaining a pipeline of top-tier talent. Mentorship programs, networking events, and hosting workshops or webinars are all helpful in connecting with skilled professionals who might be looking for a new opportunity. 

 In addition, working with a talent access organization like Peak Demand can give you valuable guidance, share updates about industry trends, and help you optimize your talent pipeline efforts. 

  • Final Thoughts

  Bridging the Solar Skills Gap is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it requires strategic, intentional efforts from hiring managers. This effort involves, identifying key roles, nurturing talent pipelines, and embracing the value of transferable skills. 

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