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Solving the Solar Workforce Gap

June 24, 2021
Austin, TX

In our last blog, we discussed the hiring challenges the Solar sector is facing due to expansion. In this blog, we'll focus on the impact on the industry, and provide you with solutions to help tackle the Solar skills gap.

Analysts predict that we will see a massive expansion in the Solar sector over the next 15 years. The federal government’s goal is to cut electricity emissions down to zero, which could grow the industry up to ten times its current size.

According to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census, 26 percent of Solar employers overall, and 33 percent of Solar installation and project development businesses, reported that it was “very difficult” to find qualified candidates.

In our Solar Skills Gap Report, we discuss the challenges of identifying and hiring qualified workers with the technical skills needed for the job. We believe that by investing in the future of our workers through formalized training, we can help Solar businesses bridge the workforce gap.

The Impact of the Skills Gap on Solar Companies

The biggest challenge among Solar companies is that candidates don’t have the experience, training, and technical skills needed to perform the job. This is a huge pain point for the sector when tasked with having to hire and train hundreds of people quickly--especially with the increase of utility-scale projects in the pipeline.

In fact, the National Solar’s Jobs Census also reported that 83 percent of Solar employers said it was “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to find qualified applicants to fill open positions.

Given this challenge, it’s vital that Solar companies take steps to formalize training programs to make the process more efficient.

Bridging the Solar Skills Gap

When implementing a training program, one great place to start is by contacting a workforce management solution like Workrise. We can help your company scale up its workforce by offering access to a large talent pool, and providing safety, skills, and compliance courses.

The following are recommended:

  • Establish Procedures
    Managers should work with foremen and superintendents to establish a set of procedures for training new hires. Training should then follow a defined, guided process.
  • Award Employees
    Upon the completion of training, you may want to consider awarding grades to employees based on how they complete their tasks. This type of approach can offer a pathway for career advancement and promotions.

The Takeaway

With the impending growth of the industry, Solar companies need to start taking steps to bridge the Solar skills gap now. Contact a hiring agency when you need help with upscaling your workforce quickly, training your trainers and new hires, and providing the safety, skills, and compliance courses needed. Working with an agency with a large network across the US will help with staffing and save you valuable time and money.

This is where Workrise can help. With two decades of staffing experience--we know how to reach the incoming generation of workers and attract them to the trades. We also understand the value that implementing a structured training program can have.

We heavily emphasize our focus on the worker first, by providing best-in-class pay, comprehensive benefits, and 401K. And by supplying the training needed, we help prepare our workers for future career advancement in their trade.

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