Potential for over 70,000 new green jobs

More than 70,000 jobs could be created in the UK’s renewables sector in the next decade with almost half the posts in offshore wind, a report from a trade body has predicted.

The UK’s wind, wave and tidal energy sector now directly employs more than 18,000 full-time staff with a further 16,000 indirectly employed, according to RenewableUK.

The number of people working in the sector has increased by 74 per cent since 2010 when the organisation conducted its first study into employment in the wind, wave and tidal power industries.

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The number of employees working in the offshore wind industry alone has more than doubled from 3,151 in 2010 to 6,830 in 2013, the updated report shows.

Roles in the sector are across construction and installation, planning and development, support services, operations and maintenance and manufacturing.

A fifth of those employed in renewables are women, a lower proportion than in technical and professional occupations but higher than the power sector overall.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery said although the potential was significant, further growth should not be taken for granted. “To really harness the economic benefits we must ensure there is certainty for industry which will enable firms to invest in the right people and skills, and ensure we maximise the number of green collar jobs we create as we transform our electricity system,” she said.

Scottish Renewables estimates the industry in Scotland supports more than 10,200 full-time jobs.