UK subsea sector creates 16,000 jobs in 3 years

The UK's subsea sector has created nearly 16,000 jobs in the last three years, according to a new report. Picture: Contributed
The UK's subsea sector has created nearly 16,000 jobs in the last three years, according to a new report. Picture: Contributed
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A TOTAL of 16,000 new jobs have been created in the last three years in the UK’s booming subsea sector.

• 16,000 new jobs created in UK’s subsea sector as value to national economy nears £9 billion

• Report shows that British-based companies dominate sector worldwide, with 45 per cent of £20 billion global market

And the contribution of the sector to the UK economy is now valued at almost £9 billion – a staggering growth of 50 per cent since 2010, according to a new industry report published today.

The report by industry body, Subsea UK, also shows that British-based companies now dominate the worldwide subsea sector with 45 per cent of the £20 billion global market.

A spokeswoman for Subsea UK said: “The survey of over 750 companies throughout the entire supply chain shows that 16,000 new jobs have been created in the sector since 2010, bringing the total number of jobs supported by the industry to 66,000. This figure takes account of the 53,000 directly employed in the subsea industry as well as the 13,000 in jobs which indirectly support the sector.

“Of the direct subsea workforce, 48 per cent work in services which include engineering, construction and diving. Manufacturing accounts for 19 per cent of the 53,000 jobs.”

She continued: “Almost half the respondents are anticipating growth in excess of 20 per cent in the next three years with 28 per cent predicting to grow by 10 to 20 per cent.”

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: “These findings are further proof of the success, dynamism and sustained growth potential of subsea. Not only has our sector out-performed any other in the UK, it has improved its global position and now dominates with an impressive 45 per cent of the global market, despite a faltering economic climate.”

He explained: “The increase in activity in the North Sea has played a major factor in this continued growth but exports remain high, accounting for 43 per cent of total revenues. Subsea has become increasingly important to the upstream energy sector, both in terms of developing and stimulating further investment in the UKCS and in growing the UK’s export base.”

Mr Gordon continued: “Extracting the remaining world’s reserves will increasingly fall to the subsea industry – already almost 45 per cent of UKCS production comes from subsea wells with 70 per cent of new developments planned. It is therefore of vital importance to the security of the world’s energy supply.”

According to the report, the export of subsea goods and services is valued at £4.3 billion with engineering and manufacturing companies generating just over 25 per cent and service providers accounting for 26 per cent of the export revenues. Three quarters of the total revenues are generated in the North east of Scotland with exports from the region accounting for 70 per cent of the output.

Michael Fallon, the UK Minister for Energy and Business said: “This report highlights what a Great British success story the subsea sector is. World class expertise and cutting edge technology has created a British industry worth £8.9 billion, that supports 66,000 jobs and leads the global stage.

“The subsea sector has earned the substantial praise it deserves – the figures in this report are truly impressive. Growth of £11 billion in the next three years, exports worth £4.3 billion a year and 80 per cent of revenues generated in the North East of Scotland, with a supply chain that stretches across the UK. The subsea sector has translated incredible feats of engineering and construction into market-beating performance.”

He added: “The Government has been working hard with industry as part of the oil and gas industrial strategy to ensure that the North Sea is a very fertile ground for oil and gas investment. This includes a combined focus on skills, technology, exports and access to finance so that we can look forward to seeing this success last for decades to come.”

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