RenewableUK released an updated study into employment in wind and marine energy in the United Kingdom. Working for a Green Britain and Northern Ireland reveals that together these important growth industries – wind, wave, and tidal energy – now directly employ 18,465 people full time, a 74% increase in jobs since 2010.
The report shows that the offshore wind sector saw the biggest growth between 2010 and 2013, with the number of direct jobs doubling from 3,151 to 6,830. When including indirect jobs (companies that supply goods and services to the sector, such as gearbox component manufacturers) the wind, wave and tidal energy industries support the employment of over 34,000 people.
The research also highlights the fact that women make up 20% of the sector’s workforce – this is lower than the proportion of women in technical and professional occupations in the UK, but proportionally higher than in the power sector overall, thereby demonstrating the sector’s success in attracting women into the energy industry.
Looking to the future the report predicts that more than 70,000 jobs could be created over the next decade, nearly half of which would be in offshore wind. RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery said: “The offshore wind sector alone could be employing nearly 45,000 workers in the 2020s. As an industry we are truly creating jobs out of fresh air.”
She concluded saying, “The scale of the opportunity is massive, but success is not guaranteed. To really harness the economic benefits of our technologies we must ensure that there is certainty for industry. Certainty on future levels of deployment of wind, wave and tidal energy over the next decade will enable firms to invest in the right people and the right skills, and ensure we maximize the number of green collar jobs we create as we transform our electricity system. We want to ensure offshore wind is given the same opportunity to prosper as the North Sea oil and gas industries had in their heyday”.