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400,000 Workers Needed To Attain Net Zero

Posted: 03/03/2020

Categories: Health & Safety Guides

A new report has claimed that a mass recruitment drive is urgently required for the hundreds of thousands of skilled workers needed in the energy sector if the UK is to meet the 2050 zero net emissions targets.

400,000 skilled tradespeople, engineers, and other specialists are wanted across the industry, says the National Grid, with 117,000 of them needed within the decade. The report, ‘Building the Net Zero Energy Workforce’, claims that a quarter of this workforce will be needed in the north of the UK.

The report also says that the sector has strong competition for staff in other areas such as technology and finance, and difficulties in recruitment with a lack of young people choosing to study science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) is making matters worse.

Recruits brought in to the industry will be needed to deliver projects in offshore wind farms, technology to capture and store carbon emissions, and upgrading the grid to deal with the demands of more electric vehicles and heating.

Staff will also be required for projects such as the London Power Tunnels, where the National Grid has just invested nearly £1bn in upgrades to the high voltage cable network that runs around the north of the capital.

The north-east will need over 21,000 new skilled staff to deliver offshore wind and the interconnector off the coast of Northumberland. 28,000 roles will be required for the development of wind farms off the east coast of England, and 17,000 within the Yorkshire and Humber regions for carbon capture and emissions storage.

In Scotland, workers with net zero-related skills will be needed to fill over 48,000 jobs by 2050 with a further 25,000 roles expected in Wales.

According to ReNews, Nicola Shaw, Executive Director of National Grid, commented: "Our research shows that to deliver net-zero, the energy industry needs to recruit hundreds of thousands of people over the next 30 years - and that really is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the wider impact of net-zero across other industries.”

"The time is now for the sector to rise to the challenge and overcome the long-standing issues we face in recruiting a diverse workforce with the right skills to deliver on the UK's ambitions."

The National Grid report coincides with a YouGov poll which suggests that the majority of people want a job with an environmental purpose. It found that 57 per cent of people are interested in working for an organisation helping to deliver on the goal of zero emissions, with 78 per cent of those questioned saying they should personally play a role in achieving the target.

If you’re recruiting for workers to assume roles within the offshore wind sector, you should ensure they hold the certified accreditations and attended the basic safety training GWO courses as well as any other offshore training required.