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Polish Coal Miners Transition to Renewable Energy through Training Program

In a pioneering initiative to transition workers from the coal industry to the renewable energy sector, the first group of miners who applied through the recruitment process at Spółka Restrukturyzacji Kopalń S.A. are already training on wind turbines. This development is part of the “Wind – a mine of possibilities” program, created by EDF Renewables Poland in collaboration with Vulcan Training & Consultancy.

The program aims to enable coal miners to switch industries and work in renewable energy. More workers from the mining sector interested in training have the opportunity to apply for participation in the second round of free training, scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.

Alicja Chilińska-Zawadzka, General Director of EDF Renewables Poland, emphasized the program’s success, stating, “The interest in the program is in line with our expectations, and I believe that over the next few years, we will help at least several dozen Silesian mine workers to retrain.” She highlighted the company’s commitment to being an “active participant in socially responsible energy transformation.”

Janusz Gajowiecki, President of the Polish Wind Energy Association, praised the program for demonstrating that the necessary energy transition to green energy does not exclude workers from the “old” energy sector. On the contrary, it is open to their skills and experience. He said, “We are talking about the work of the future and the competencies of the future, which the program equips Polish miners with. These are skills that the renewable energy market in Poland will expect for several decades to come.”

This program represents a significant step in Poland’s energy transition, providing a sustainable path for workers from traditional industries to move into the growing renewable energy sector. It ensures that the shift towards green energy is inclusive, acknowledging and utilizing the valuable skills and experience of existing workers.

In the broader context of Poland’s transition to greener energy, as highlighted by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) in an article on Skills4energy.EU, the European Green Deal presents both challenges and opportunities for the labor market and industries. Poland, with its heavy reliance on coal, faces the crucial task of reducing its coal use in electricity production and modernizing its energy infrastructure. The transition is expected to create around 300,000 new jobs in renewable energy sources, nuclear energy, and electromobility by 2030. However, it will also require a significant shift in the workforce, demanding new skills and competencies in green technologies and sustainable practices. The success of this transition will hinge on the country’s ability to equip its workforce, including former coal industry workers, with the necessary skills for the jobs of the future, ensuring a just and inclusive shift towards a more sustainable economy. For more detailed insights, you can refer to the full article [here].

Source: Polish Wind Energy Association