Perth-based energy group SSE sees green job switch for 1 in 5 staff

More than one in five employees at Scottish energy group SSE have shifted from high to low-carbon careers, according to new figures.

The Perth-headquartered company, which last week announced plans to enter the Japanese offshore wind market, said at least 1,500 of its employees are now working across low-carbon projects, having previously worked in high-carbon roles.

At its Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm off the Caithness coast, as many as two thirds of the control room staff are former oil and gas workers.

The figures were published as part of an update on the company’s Just Transition Strategy, which was unveiled last year, with the aim that “no one is left behind in the move to decarbonise”.

Some 1,500 staff working on SSE's low-carbon-generation projects have switched from roles on high-carbon ones. Picture: Stuart Nicol.

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SSE said work underway at its Peterhead Power Station was a good example of the transition, with the traditional gas-fired station forming part of plans to develop one of the UK’s first power stations equipped with carbon-capture technology. This year has seen a record intake of ten apprentices who will support the shift from a high to a low-carbon power source, retaining skills in the area whilst creating careers for the future.

As part of its efforts to create green jobs, SSE is delivering billions of pounds of investment in renewables, electricity networks and other infrastructure needed in the journey to net zero.

“Whilst SSE’s Peterhead Power Station epitomises the just transition where the traditional gas-fired station is part of plans to develop one of the UK’s first power stations equipped with carbon-capture technology,” the group added.

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Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: “The climate emergency demands action but that means big changes in people’s lives – and livelihoods.

“Since we published our Just Transition Strategy last year, we’ve sensed real momentum for a just transition to net zero. There is genuine consensus emerging amongst policy-makers, companies, and trade unions that we can’t allow the mistakes of previous industrial transformations to be repeated.”

Last week’s Japan announcement saw SSE’s renewables arm sign an agreement with Pacifico Energy, one of Japan's largest developers of renewable energy, to create a joint-ownership company that will pursue offshore wind energy development projects in the East Asian nation.

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