Rope access workers in the wind energy industry repair, maintain and upgrade huge wind turbines with the use of specialist equipment, ropes and protective clothing.
Anyone interested in working as a rope access operative will need to have a head for heights, as the role involves abseiling down enormous structures, and many of them are located offshore. Formal training and certification is an essential prerequisite for employment, and most recruitment agencies will insist on seeing evidence of an Industrial Rope Access Trade Association qualification before considering an application. The IRATA level 3 qualification will be required where a particular role involves the supervision of other staff who are using ropes.
Specialist rope access contractors are the biggest employers in the UK, and the work they do is considered to be highly specialised. Applicants need to be incredibly fit, as the work is strenuous - and potentially dangerous. A level of mobility and flexibility is also usually required, as contracts often cover wind turbines up and down the coasts of the UK.
Newcomers to the role can expect to receive a salary of between £20,000 and £30,000, but many of the positions available are on a self-employed basis. There are usually a great deal of fixed-term contracts available in the sector as well.