MANILA – The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila is in discussion with stakeholders in Norway and the Philippines to help the latter prepare its workforce for offshore wind energy developments.
Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Christopher Lyster told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the Embassy has initiated a dialogue with the Norwegian Training Center (NTC) in Manila and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) in Oslo to provide necessary training for Filipinos as well as equip seafarers with skills needed for offshore wind projects in the country.
“We have initiated a dialogue now with the relevant actors... This is something that we will be engaging in the years to come,” Lyster said on Friday.
“Hopefully with the Philippines, with our maritime sector, with our energy sector, we can all work together to come up with the right solutions to make it possible for the Philippines to get more of the people needed for the offshore wind from the Philippines,” he added.
The envoy said the NTC here has produced almost 6,000 cadets and the NSA has also provided scholarships and employed these graduates in Norwegian ships.
“We have a very good setup. And of course, offshore wind is the area where you have energy and the maritime combined. So that’s why we are having a very good dialogue with the shipowners’ association in Norway, the Norwegian Training Center to look at opportunities and focus also on particular skills that is needed for the offshore wind ventures that would come to the Philippines,” Lyster added.
He said the Philippines has produced many seafarers, engineers and electricians that could be provided with additional skills to meet the requirements of offshore wind projects in the future.
“There's so many people from the Philippines working abroad. You also have people with the right maritime background, chief engineers, electricians —all this kind of background is something you can build upon when you’re thinking about the skills needed for offshore wind,” the envoy said.
Earlier, Wind Energy Developers Association of the Philippines, Inc. president Jose Ildebrando Ambrosio said the offshore wind energy sector would require around 280 to 2,800 workers in the initial installations of offshore wind projects, which are expected to be around the next five to seven years.
The number is also seen to grow by 600 annually to 9,800 by 2040.
Ambrosio said Filipino seafarers could fill the workforce demand of offshore wind farms in the coming years. (PNA)