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New jobs in UK offshore wind will aid ‘levelling up’

New research from the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) suggests that the number of people working directly and indirectly in the UK’s offshore wind industry will rise significantly, from 26,000 currently to nearly 70,000 by 2026. Most of the jobs will be created in parts of the country which urgently need levelling up, including the north east of England, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Anglia and Scotland.

The private sector is to invest £61bn across the UK over the next five years in developing, constructing and operating offshore wind projects as the industry expands. 

Over 80% of offshore wind jobs are currently located outside London and the South East, says the report. Scotland currently has the highest proportion (30%), Yorkshire and The Humber has 15%, the north east of England 10% and the east of England also has 10%.

The forecast suggests that these regional percentages will be maintained at this level as jobs increase over the course of this decade.

The wide range of jobs includes engineers, project managers, software designers, component manufactures, turbine technicians, welders, deep sea divers, boat crews and helicopter pilots. Nearly four-fifths of these jobs are highly skilled, technical and management roles. The offshore wind industry is currently looking in particular to fill vacancies for electrical engineers, civil engineers, project managers, surveyors, data analysts and digital specialists in roles based onshore as well as offshore.

At present, women make up 18% of the workforce, says OWIC, and the industry has committed to increasing this to at least one-third by 2030.

Meanwhile, the government will not be able to deliver on its commitment to net zero by 2050 without taking radical action to decarbonise the 12 most carbon-intensive industries, which together represent three-fifths of UK emissions and employ one in every five jobs. But if ministers take the right steps, the new demand for renewables and low carbon technologies could deliver up to 1.7mn new green jobs, half of which are likely to be located in the North, Midlands and Scotland.

So concludes a research paper: Greening the Giants, from centre-right thinktank Onward. The report analyses the challenge of greening the 12 most carbon-intensive and hard-to-decarbonise industries – the ‘carbon giants’ – and recommends a plan to get them to net zero over the next 30 years. 

News Item details

Journal title: Energy World

Countries: UK -

Subjects: Offshore wind power, Jobs,

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